On Wednesday the Western Cape High Court heard the eviction application made by the Louiesenhof Wine Estate landowners in a bid to remove close to a thousand illegal occupiers from settling on the Watergang farm, which they have already renamed Azania Informal Settlement.
The illegal occupiers, Kayamandi backyarders, are adamant that they will not be vacating the land.
They have been served with at least two interdicts, on May 25 and August 3.
The occupiers are remaining on the land until the Prevention of Illegal Eviction (PIE) has been filed.
The illegal occupier’s lawyer, advocate Ayanda Gladile, said the land owners wanted the court to make an order for the complete removal of the occupiers.
“We opposed on record and sought to postpone for us to get proper instructions from our clients,” he said.
Of the close to 1000 occupiers, Gladile said he had only consulted about 400.
“We needed time to consult and know the circumstances of each individual or family. The list is still long, so we have been given an extra seven days,” he said.
On Friday, Gladile said they expected to get a trial date.
“The main issue is that the land has been vacant for years.
“Some residents who have been living nearby said it had been vacant for the past 15 years. These backyarders can’t afford rent. They waited for the perfect opportunity to be relieved from making monthly rent payments,” he said.
Gladile said most of the people living on the land were unemployed, and others worked as domestic workers, security guards etc.
“You can have food, clothes but the most important thing is accommodation - a basic need,” he said.
Outside, a large crowd protested, calling for the eviction not to be granted.
The people holding posters and placards sang with knobkierries in hand saying they would not be vacating the land.@Zoey_Dano