Human Rights Commission slams evictions from Kraaifontein farm
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Cape Town – The SA Human Rights Commission
(SAHRC) has challenged the eviction of
300 people from the Klein Akker farm
in Kraaifontein, charging that a failure
by the City to provide appropriate alternative accommodation to families, as
well as the way in which the eviction
was carried out by the property owner,
amounted to a violation of various
The commission applied for a declaratory order in the Western Cape High
Court yesterday, where judgment was
Acting SAHRC provincial manager
Bahia Sterris said the eviction had
“amounted to a violation of various
“Although the property owner had
obtained an eviction order, no appropriate alternative accommodation for
residents had been found, and evicted
families are now stuck out in the cold
on Botfontein Road without any temporary accommodation.
application asserts that the eviction,
which has left several families stranded,
has given rise to a series of rights violations, including the right to adequate
housing, the right to water and sanitation, the rights of children, the right to
a basic education, and finally, the right
to human dignity,” said Sterris.
The SAHRC further supported an
application made by the Legal Resources
Centre for emergency accommodation
and constitutional damages.
The more than 300 people, including
pensioners, women and children, were
evicted from the farm on Monday, and
have been destitute since.
Some had been living on the land
for more than 20 years.
Klein Akker community spokesperson Anna-Marie Schoeman had said the
residents were stripped of their dignity as
they were made to sit along Botfontein
Road, in the cold, while their goods were
destroyed during the eviction process.
“The SAHRC emphasises that the
eviction of persons must be carried out
humanely, and in line with existing
laws and constitutional principles.
SAHRC is hopeful that this litigation
will not only provide these families with
much-needed relief, but will serve as a
reminder of the constitutional and legal
obligations which must be complied
with when carrying out an eviction in
"We are particularly concerned
about the children affected, given the
impact on their right to a basic education and in view of the paramountcy of
the best interests of the child in our Bill
of Rights,” said Sterris.
Booth Attorneys, on behalf of the landowner Odvest 182 (Pty) Ltd,
said the owners intended to develop
the land into an industrial or semiindustrial property.
They disputed that the eviction had been unlawful, as residents were notified that they needed to move.
The firm said an application was launched in 2012 in the Western Cape High Court, and the matter was heard during 2015. The firm said that in 2016 an order was granted authorising the eviction by July 2017.
The City said the eviction was a private one in which the City’s law enforcement agencies did not take part.
The City said they had provided alternative accommodation to the residents, which was rejected by the residents.
Yesterday the City’s legal representative indicated the City would provide emergency housing kits to the evictees who could be housed in Philippi, 40km away, at an area called Kampies.
The City said the occupiers would only be able to move to this site within four to six weeks.
Klein Akker residents have rejected this option, citing issues such as distance from their
children’s schools, transportation
as well as their places of employment.
The City indicated they would provide the emergency kits to residents on the condition that they moved back to Klein Akker while they waited for the space at Kampies to become available.
The City also indicated they would provide emergency kits to residents who could prove they had land to put them on.
Judgment was reserved until parties formed a draft on an appropriate solution for emergency temporary accommodation.