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ConCourt to hear eviction appeal case

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INLSA

A full bench sitting of the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg. File picture: TIRO RAMATLHATSE

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will hear an application on Thursday for leave to appeal against an eviction order.

Johanna Malan, 75, is seeking to challenge a Western Cape High Court judgment which ordered she be evicted from her home on condition the City of Cape Town provide her with alternative accommodation.

Malan entered into a lease agreement with the city in 1979 for subsidised housing, which the government provided to low-income people or families.

Malan suffers from ill health and her sole source of income is her pension.

In 2008, she fell behind on her rent payments and approached the city to pay the arrears in instalments.

In October that year, the city sent her a letter informing her it intended to cancel the lease with effect from December.

In January 2009, the city sent another letter confirming cancellation of the lease and its intention to evict her.

The matter was taken to the high court where the city argued Malan had breached the agreement in several respects. It said she was in arrears with payments, had allowed illegal activity to take place on the property and made structural alterations to the property without consent from the city.

The high court ruled against Malan and ordered her eviction in terms of section four of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act. This was on condition the city provide her with alternative accommodation.

Malan turned to the Supreme Court of Appeal which denied her application for leave to appeal.

Malan is challenging the high court decision in the Constitutional Court on various grounds including that the cancellation of the lease was invalid and it violated her constitutional rights to equality, dignity and housing.

She will also argue the high court erred by evicting her on the basis of incorrect provisions of the act and by admitting hearsay evidence on the alleged illegal activity on the premises.

The city will continue to argue that Malan did breach the lease agreement and that she was given adequate opportunity to rectify her breach.

The city will also argue it undertook to place Malan in an old-aged home and fulfilled the requirements of the act.

Sapa


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