WATCH: Queer activists sing and dance before vacating Camps Bay mansion
Cape Town - Queer activists who participated in an artistic protest by unlawfully occupying a mansion in Camps Bay, Cape Town, have vacated the premises.
This comes after the Cape Town High Court ruled that the collective, We See You, made up of black and coloured queer activists, should vacate the premises.
The ruling came following an injunction sought by property group Turnkey365 and the property owners to have the group removed.
The group of seven had booked the Panacea Villa vacation home listed on Airbnb initially for a three-day stay from September 18. Instead of booking out, the group then occupied the residence for use as a safe space for queer individuals and in support and in solidarity with other land and housing occupations across the country.
The group received the notice of motion for unlawful occupation on Tuesday and appeared in court on Friday last week.
The court ruled that the group should vacate the premises no later than Thursday, 12pm, with a few days given for some to find alternative residency after sharing that they would be homeless should they be evicted immediately.
Meanwhile, mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi said the City has been approached by the court to see if there is emergency accommodation available for some of the members.
“Normally, the City responds by filing a housing report if the court involves the City, after assessments are made of the respondents’ personal circumstances,” said Booi.
“For instance, employment, how long they have lived in the property in question, where were they living prior to the unlawful occupation, do they meet the criteria for being eligible for emergency housing as per the national housing code, among others?
“There was insufficient time for this process to commence and be finalised, hence no formal assessment process was instituted and there is no formal obligation on the City to provide assistance.
“To date, we have not received the completed questionnaires from the respondents which will enable the City to determine whether the respondents qualify for emergency accommodation or not should this be determined by the court,” he said.
On their Instagram page, the group showed video footage of the SPCA at the gates of the residence, after neighbours had informed them that the occupiers were planning to slaughter a sheep on the premises.
The activists said these claims were untrue as there were no sheep on the property.
We See You group’s last night was spent conducting a webinar discussing experiences of other land occupations and activists spearheading these, as well as their own and challenges faced.
Present were representatives from Khayelitsha CAN and Singabalapha (We Belong Here) and other land and housing activists.
We See You member, Vaketha Halile, 32, confirmed that the group has left the property.