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Lwandle inquiry begins in Cape Town

Johannesburg -

Public hearings into the eviction of illegal shack dwellers in Lwandle, Cape Town, are expected to begin on Monday.

A woman reacts after seeing her shack destroyed during the Lwandle evictions. In post-apartheid South Africa, it is quite incomprehensible that during days of inclement weather, families can be evicted apartheid-style out of their homes, says the writer. File picture: Cindy Waxa. Credit: Independent Newspapers

The hearings form part of an inquiry, set up by the housing ministry, into the removal of 849 families from Sanral-owned land on June 2 and 3. Some of the dwellings were demolished and others set alight.

The first round of hearings, expected to focus on submissions by the various entities involved in the evictions, are scheduled to begin at the Good Hope Sub-Council building in central Cape Town at 10am.

The evicted residents were expected to testify during the second round of hearings.

The commission will look at the how the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) applied for and obtained a court order allowing the evictions; the roles of the sheriff, City of Cape Town, metro police, the South African Police Service, and other government entities.

The commission is also tasked with establishing who the affected Lwandle residents are and why they occupied the land while there was a waiting list for the provision of government housing.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is to be presented with the commission's findings and recommendations.

The commission, headed by advocate Denzil Potgieter, has until August 5 to conclude the inquiry.

The other members of the commission are Nomhle Dambuza, Mampe Ramotsamai, Butch Steyn, Annelize van Wyk and Barnabas Xulu. - Sapa

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