Cape Town - Members of the public were ordered out of a meeting at the Western Cape provincial legislature on Tuesday where the national department of rural development and land reform was to address the standing committee on human settlements.
The standing committee was seeking answers on the current state of land reform in District Six, where some claimants have been waiting for decades for restitution.
The committee had invited Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to address it voluntarily, or face being subpoenaed.
#DistrictSix We are at the WC Provincial Legislature where the department of rural development is briefing the standing committee on Human Settlements on the current status of District Six. @TheCapeArgus @IOL pic.twitter.com/2sHKCGp72F
Upon arrival, the department requested that members of the public and media be excused from the open meeting, as it wished to discuss an ongoing court case involving the District Six Working Committee, aspects of which were still sub judice.
The working committee opened a case in the land reform court in Johannesburg seeking a declaratory order and structural interdict against the State for "failing to provide adequate restitution in District Six since 1998".
WATCH: @TheCapeArgus can confirm the department of rural development and land reform requested that the meeting be closed. Currently they are discussing particulars about the court case that the department is involved in with the district six working committee @IOL pic.twitter.com/LAoMvQNWOZ
The District Six Working Committee represents more than 70 000 people who had been evicted from the area during forced removals under the Group Areas Act.
Working committee chairperson Shahied Ajam was incensed that members of the public would be ejected from an open meeting in the provincial legislature.
"This is humiliating and it leaves a sour taste in the mouths of the people of District Six. We are here to seek answers and we have not received anything," he said.