File picture: Pexels
File picture: Pexels

Legal Resources Centre threatens City with court action over Ocean View evictions

By Liesl Van Der Schyff Time of article published May 21, 2020

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Cape Town – The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) has threatened to once again haul the City before the courts, claiming officials unlawfully evicted residents of an Ocean View informal settlement.

This after the centre was approached by the residents whose homes Law Enforcement officers allegedly destroyed before confiscating their building materials on Friday.

The LRC said the land on which residents’ homes were erected was owned by the Ocean View Development Trust.

They gave the City until yesterday to return the building material for the re-erection of the structures.

When asked for his reaction, Human Settlements Mayco member Malusi Booi would only say the City noted the LRC’s statement.

The LRC also demanded that the City issue a written undertaking that no further demolitions or evictions would take place.

“In terms of regulation 19 under the Disaster Management Act during level 4, issued on April 29, evictions are expressly prohibited. 

"The provision clearly states that if a court grants an eviction order in terms of the provision of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 and the prevention of illegal eviction from unlawful occupation of Land Act of 1998, such an order will be suspended until the last day of level 4, unless a court finds that it would not be just and equitable to do so.

“Additionally, section 26(3) of the Constitution further states that no person may be evicted or have their home demolished without an order of court having taken into consideration the relevant circumstances,” said LRC.

Resident Bernadette Rossouw said: “We have families, including young children, who have to go to school in the next few days but they don’t have a place to stay and the City has not provided us with an alternative place. We are just left to roam the streets and get sick. All we want is a place to live happily with our families."

Meanwhile, a group of occupants at 414 Arcadia House, Main Road, Observatory have accused Law Enforcement officers of forcing them to sign fines of R300.

Occupant Lindelwa Vuza said: “If the City wants us gone here, they should at least provide us with an alternative place because we are not going back to Strandfontein where people were tested positive for the virus.”

Safety and security executive director Richard Bosman said officers issued 21 fines (R300 each) in terms of the Streets and Public Places by-law.

He said the group living on the sidewalk in Observatory have been in contravention of the City’s by-laws for several months.

Cape Times

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