Johannesburg woman evicted by landlord after testing positive for coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Test tube with Corona virus name label is seen in this illustration taken on January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

A Johannesburg mother has been kicked out of her rental home by her landlord after she tested positive for Covid-19.

The mother, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of further stigmatisation, had been renting at a commune in Glenvista, southern Johannesburg, for almost a year. She said after she got her results on Monday she immediately told one of the tenants

"I had been feeling unwell since last week Monday and on Tuesday I went to Mulbarton Hospital. The doctor gave me medication and I went back home. On Thursday my nose was blocked and I did not have a sense of smell. I went back to my doctor who suggested that I should test for Covid-19," she said.

"When I came back I told one of the tenants because I wanted them to sanitise anything that I had touched and also to avoid using the bathroom that I used. She went around telling people that I was going to infect them with coronavirus as the landlord had allowed me to quarantine in my room. That did not sit well with the neighbours as they called the landlord complaining about their safety," she said.

In neighbourhood WhatsApp messages that Sowetan has seen, some of the residents called for the owner of the house to be fined. One message read: "By the way house number… has just been reported to land use management for being a commune. It is illegal, the infrastructure is not sufficient to cope with mass amounts of people in one house."

The woman said the landlord ordered her to leave her place.

"However, on Tuesday evening I finally managed to get a space at a quarantine place but I am worried as to what is going to happen after 14 days. When will I have time to look for another place to stay?"

Her two children have moved in with relatives.

The SA Human Rights Commission Gauteng manager Buang Jones said the woman can lodge a complaint with the rental housing tribunal.

"On the face of it, the conduct complained of implicates the right to equality, human dignity and the right to privacy. The evictee should seek legal advice."

When contacted for comment, the landlord, Azuka Okah, said: "Do whatever you want, I don't have time for this rubbish."

– Sowetan

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