The Vrygrond Community Forum is seeking an order that interdicts and restrains the City from evicting 56 families from the area. Picture Cindy Waxa /AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY/ANA
Cape Town - The Vrygrond Community Forum and the City of Cape Town will square off in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday to present oral evidence before Judge President John Hlophe on the eviction of 56 families in the area on June 18.

This comes after an order granted by Judge Ashley Binns-Ward on Friday that the matter be regarded as urgent. Eight people, including Mikel Khumalo, chairperson of the Vrygrond Community Forum, filed an urgent application against the City, the municipal manager and Mayor Dan Plato.

They are seeking an order that interdicts and restrains the City from evicting or demolishing any informal structures erected by the Vrygrond community and declaring that the actions and conduct of the City in demolishing informal structures erected on erf 1 Capricorn, commonly known as Xakabantu in the Vrygrond area, to be unlawful.

The forum’s legal representative, Vernon Seymour, who filed the urgent application, said they also want the City to provide or erect habitable temporary shelter at least equivalent to those that were destroyed at the site when the families were evicted .

Judge Binns-Ward ordered that the application may be heard as a matter of urgency and be referred for the hearing of oral evidence, adding that the affidavits filed in the application shall stand as pleadings.

“The parties shall within two days of the date of this order make discovery on oath of any document and or tape recordings that they intend to utilise at the contemplated hearing.

“The issues to be determined at the contemplated hearing is whether the City of Cape Town, through its officials, took steps unlawfully to evict the people from the property on June 18, 2019 when certain informal structures erected on the property were demolished.”

In papers, Khumalo argued the City knew it had carried out an unlawful eviction of persons in Xakabantu but wanted the court to believe it was acting lawfully.

According to Seymour, the matter date to backs to 2018 when the community first started to erect informal structures.

“On Friday the judge said that the version of the Vrygrond Forum is in stark contrast with that of the City of Cape Town and he cannot make a ruling on which version is the truth.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements Malusi Booi said the City would make presentations on Tuesday and a determination after that.

Malusi Booi

[email protected]

Cape Argus