DA’s call to end lockdown over eviction rule is reckless and racist, says EFF
Cape Town - The DA has been criticised for their “reckless” and “irresponsible” call for the lifting of level 1 lockdown, with the EFF saying it was racist, anti-poor and in the interest of the white minority.
Spokesperson for the DA on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Cilliers Brink on Tuesday said the party was calling for regulations to be lifted, saying it “made it close to impossible for property owners to obtain eviction orders”.
“While restrictions on the movement of people have long ago been lifted, the corresponding rights of property owners have not been restored. To protect their land and buildings against illegal occupation property owners have to overcome extraordinary legal hurdles, creating an open season for land grabs,” he said.
Brink called for the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to amend the regulations.
The statement follows the Western Cape High Court in August granting the Legal Resource Centre’s (LRC) temporary interdict against the City of Cape Town and the SAPS, prohibiting the City from conducting evictions and demolitions of occupied and unoccupied structures without judicial oversight.
It also directed that the City’s officials act with respect for the dignity of evicted persons should a court grant them an eviction order.
EFF provincial spokesperson Wandile Kasibe said the DA’s stance was racist, as it was majority back people who don’t have houses.
“The EFF Western Cape vehemently condemns the reckless call by the DA to lift alert level 1 lockdown regulations. The DA is racist and anti-poor and all they care about are the interests of whites. We call on the residents of the Western Cape to unite against any attempts by the DA to undermine their human dignity. Land is the first cardinal pillar of the EFF and as the party we will protect and mobilise behind the programme of the return of the land on all fronts for without land there is no dignity for African people,” he said.
ANC provincial chairperson Xolani Sotashe said they also condemned the statement made by the DA.
“They don’t think of bringing service delivery to people but of dehumanising them. They will be asking the very same people in a few month’s time for their votes. We are going to winter time now and instead of devising a basic service delivery plan they want to harass people because of a certain minority group that is privileged in Cape Town,” he said.
The LRC had acted on behalf of the SA Human Rights Commission, the Housing Assembly and Bulelani Qolani, who was dragged naked from his shack by the City's law enforcement officers last year.
The centre yesterday said: “The LRC secured an interim interdict in the Western Cape High Court in August 2020 which clearly prohibits evictions and demolition of structures during the national state of disaster without an order of the court. This ruling however, has been appealed by the City of Cape Town, but the court order remains valid until the appeal is heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal. This means that, as it related to evictions in the DA-controlled Cape metropole, the City cannot evict persons whilst the National State of Disaster is still in effect. The government has made it clear that the country remains in a National State of Disaster and the DA’s call for an end to this moratorium is thus premature.”
Mayor Dan Plato also issued a letter yesterday confirming that the City was challenging the court order.
In the letter he also called for an end to a “cycle of dependence on direct handouts”.
“The well-established legal right – known as counter-spoliation – is being targeted by the South African Human Rights Commission, EFF and Legal Resources Centre.
“Their application argues that a court order should be obtained before acting to prevent a land invasion in real-time, even in cases where structures are half-built and unoccupied. We are opposing this application and the chaos it is intended to bring about,” Plato said.