Family of ‘gang boss’ fight eviction

Cape Town -

The family of alleged Manenberg gang boss Shawn Malan are heading to the Constitutional Court to fight their eviction by the City of Cape Town for allegedly selling drugs from their home.

Malan’s mother, Johanna, says the cancellation of the lease of the home her family has lived in for 35 years is invalid. The Malans have been a tenant of the municipality since August 1968.

In her papers filed at the Constitutional Court, Johanna Malan says the City of Cape Town has “no evidence at all” that she sanctioned illegal activity on the property, or was part of such illegal activity.

In April last year, Western Cape High Court Judge Mokgoatji Dolamo granted the City of Cape Town an eviction order after the family were accused of selling drugs from the premises, defaulting on rent payments, and making unauthorised alterations to the property.

Johanna Malan filed for leave to appeal the judgment at the Constitutional Court, while the City of Cape Town insists that allowing the appeal would not be in the interests of justice.

The City of Cape Town concedes Malan could not be directly implicated in any illegal activity on the property.

In August last year, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and Premier Helen Zille announced that, as part of dealing with gang violence, they had evicted Shawn Malan for selling drugs from the council-owned property.

De Lille and Zille described Shawn Malan as the “leader of the Ugly Americans gang”.

The municipality cancelled the Malans’ lease in October 2008, but Johanna Malan insists she and her children have never been convicted of any criminal offences, and that the City of Cape Town never sent her a letter of demand after her rent fell into arrears.

According to her court papers, she approached the Manenberg rent office in July 2008 of her own volition when she realised she was in arrears.

According to the City of Cape Town, Shawn Malan was arrested for possession of mandrax tablets in 1999, but his mother’s lawyers say there is no evidence of prosecution and conviction. Instead, the docket is marked nolle prosequi (“we shall no longer prosecute”).

Shawn Malan was also arrested in 2005 for possession of drugs, but the municipality failed to provide evidence of the quantity of drugs and his conviction.

The City of Cape Town claims Shawn Malan has been convicted under aliases “Saul Malan” and “Michael Son” for possession of mandrax and dagga, and that a fingerprint expert confirmed the aliases to be his. But his mother’s lawyers say the municipality’s evidence is hearsay.

She lives on the property with her six children and two minor grandchildren.

“What is plain beyond doubt is that the City of Cape Town has not produced a scintilla of evidence entitling it to draw the inference that Johanna knew about or condoned the conducting of illegal activity at the property,” her counsel, David Stephens, said.

Malan’s application will be heard on Thursday.

- Sunday Argus


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