Camps Bay occupiers reject ‘unjust and inhumane’ alternative lodging
Cape Town – Queer radical social justice movement #WeSeeYou say they have rejected the alternative accommodation offered to them by the City of Cape Town as the deadline for their eviction looms.
The collective, who have illegally occupied a private Camps Bay property in a protest to highlight the need for land and economic justice, said the space offered was “unjust and inhumane”.
The group was issued an eviction notice in the Western Cape High Court on Friday, ordering them to vacate the property by midday on Thursday. If they complied with this, no costs would be ordered against them.
The collective, who represented themselves in court, said they would take the time to source a safe space for three of the protesters left homeless.
“As activists and artists who have never engaged with the law in this manner, it was an informative and harrowing experience with brief moments of triumph. This case is unprecedented as a contestation of the value of human rights in the face of unjust property rights and provides us with hope that the law is able to take into account the lived realities, injustices and violence that the majority of us as queer and other marginalised people face in this country.
“Judge (Mokgoatji) Dolamo’s verdict that we can leave the house on October 8 provides us with some time and space to find alternatives for our family in this group to access safe and adequate housing, as the option provided by the City is unjust and inhumane.
“The emergency accommodation offered by the City would be constructed as temporary shelter in an open field in Philippi. None of these options are adequate, none of these options are safe and sensitive to the realities of queer persons,” they said.
Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi said the City was approached by the court to see if there was emergency accommodation available, in what he described as a “private unlawful occupation matter”.
“Normally, the City responds by filing a housing report if the court involves the City, after assessments are made of the respondents’ personal circumstances. To date, we have not received the completed questionnaires from the respondents that will enable the City to determine whether the respondents qualify for emergency accommodation, should this be determined by the court,” said Booi.