Independent Online

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Illegal evictions appeal: judgment reserved

Khayelitsha resident Bulelani Qolani was violently dragged naked out of his shack by law enforcement officers. | Ayanda Ndamane

Khayelitsha resident Bulelani Qolani was violently dragged naked out of his shack by law enforcement officers. | Ayanda Ndamane

Published Nov 17, 2021

Share

CAPE TOWN - Judgment has been reserved in the City’s appeal of an interim interdict granted by the Western Cape High Court last year, which prevents it from conducting evictions and demolitions of occupied and unoccupied structures during the National State of Disaster.

The matter before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) stems from the public eviction of a naked Bulelani Qolani from his Khayelitsha home in July 2020.

Story continues below Advertisement

The Legal Resource Centre (LRC), representing the respondents in the matter who include the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), the Housing Assembly and Qolani together with Mfuleni residents and the EFF, said: “Our clients opposed the application. Their position has mainly been that the interdict was appropriately granted by the Western Cape High Court as the facts and circumstances warranted the application.”

The City meanwhile said they could not yet comment.

“The City has no comment on the matter as judgment has been reserved and will comment once the court delivers its judgment.”

Story continues below Advertisement

While judgment from the SCA is reserved, the parties also await a judgment from the Western Cape High Court which seeks “to declare the common law principle of counter-spoliation unconstitutional.”

Counter-spoliation relates to the legality of landowners’ right to forcibly take possession of their land from invaders without a court order.

The LRC said this case was important for many reasons, among them being that it “hones in the importance of judicial oversight and access to courts to the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Story continues below Advertisement

“The eviction of Bulelani Qolani from his home in July 2020 displayed in full the horror of homelessness in Cape Town and its associated precarity. It is clear to anyone who watched the video that the eviction of Mr Qolani - in the midst of a pandemic that required people to stay home - that the actions of the City clearly conflicted the legislation around evictions, the moratorium on evictions, the regularly gazetted Disaster Management Regulations and do not conform with their Constitutional duties. These actions emphasised the crucial need for judicial oversight in any eviction,” the organisation said.

Cape Times

Share