For three weeks residents have shut Buffalo City Metro ANC Ward 20 Councillor Ntombizodwa Gamnca out of her offices, accusing her of getting involved with dodgy deals around the sale of houses.
Eighteen people have claimed they were sold houses but never given title deeds. Others claim their houses were sold from under them without their knowledge.
Residents of Mdantsane NU6 and NU7 have accused the provincial ANC and Buffalo City Metro Municipality (BCMM) of failing to take proper steps against Gamnca.
They said the ANC told them Gamnca was suspended in March, which GroundUp reported in May.
But resident Amanda Feni said the ANC had allowed her to attend a budget meeting on 29 May "even after we made it clear that we do not want her."
Feni said complaints had been laid with ANC PEC member Loyiso Magqashela.
For a while Ncedo Kumbaca ran the councillor's office, but Gamnca returned on Monday 6 May.
Gamnca told GroundUp she had never been suspended and she attended council meetings. She confirmed that her office was closed and said that she was happy working from home.
Accusations of fraud
Viwe Gedi claims her home was sold while she was still living in it.
She said last November, Nozuko Fuma arrived and said she owned the house. She wanted to know when Gedi was planning to move out. Fuma had a truck full of bricks and planned to build a boundary wall.
"The woman told me she bought the house from a housing agent. This came as a shock. I have been living in this house since I was born, 32 years ago," said Gedi. "I went to ward councillor Gamnca to ask about this and she told me it was time I moved out because the municipality wanted the house back and I'm old enough to find my own place."
Gedi does not have a title deed as it is a municipal house, but it has been allocated to her family since the 1980s, she says. Gamnca gave her a letter to sign, stating that she would leave the house in six months. She signed. She thought she had no choice.
Only after signing the letter did she become aware of other housing complaints involving Gamnca.
Gedi says three other people have also visited her demanding the house.
A woman who asked not to be named, said she bought a house in NU7 through a housing agent, Mahlubandile Mnqoma, and paid R200,000 into his account.
Mnqoma told her that the owner no longer wanted to sell the house.
"I told him to cancel the deal and return my money. It was then I found out that Gamnca was part of the deal. Mnqoma took me to Gamnca's home and told her I wanted to cancel the sale. Gamnca begged me not to cancel, because I would put her into trouble," said the woman.
She said Gamnca promised to organise another house for her. She was then shown Gedi's home.
Nozuko Fuma says she also paid for Gedi's home; R150,000 to a different housing agent, Mncedisi Pato, introduced to her by Mnqoma.
GroundUp saw proof of payment of both Mnqoma's and Pato's transactions.
"I went to Gamnca to tell her that I bought a house from Pato and the woman in that house does not want to move. I was reporting the matter to her as the community leader. Gamnca told me that Gedi is very stubborn; she was supposed to move out a long time ago," said Fuma.
Fuma is still paying off the loan she took for the R150,000.
Asked by GroundUp about these allegations, Gamnca laughed and said not a single person had told her about such allegations, including the ANC. She said she did not know what GroundUp was talking about, and if people had complaints they should go to the municipality, not the media.
She said she knew the housing agents because "we live in the same area".
Eastern Cape ANC spokesperson Gift Ngqondi said Gamnca had been put on "temporary suspension" until she is called to a disciplinary hearing to defend herself. He said a date had not been set for the hearing.
BCMM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said the speakers' office was investigating the matter. However, only the ANC, as Gamnca's political party, had the power to suspend her.
Police spokesperson Mluleki Mbi confirmed a fraud case had been opened against Mnqoma. He appeared in Mdantsane Magistrate court last week and was granted bail of R1,000. His next court appearance is July 12.
Messages sent to Mnqoma and Pato were not answered.