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Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court ruled against the Rustenburg municipality on Thursday over excavations that damaged a homeowner's foundations.
Reading the unanimous judgment, Justice Thembile Skweyiya said because of construction work being done by the municipality next to the home of the applicant, a wall was bulldozed and the foundations of the applicant's house were damaged.
The applicant approached the North West High Court in Mahikeng to stop construction, but lost. The court ruled the homeowner's privacy was not being disturbed and the occupants were not being evicted.
However, on application to the Constitutional Court, the judges ruled there was a constitutional right to not be evicted from one's home without a court order, as well as a right to peaceful occupation of a home. The work of the municipality interfered with that.
The court concluded the municipality should have secured the applicant's eviction beforehand.
The order of the Mahikeng High Court was set aside and the municipality, and those acting on its authority, were interdicted from construction on the applicant's premises without the applicant's written consent, or a court order.
The municipality was also ordered to pay the applicant's court costs.