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Unlawful occupiers of former Woodstock hospital allowed to stay

Published Jan 31, 2019


Cape Town – The people who unlawfully occupied the abandoned former Woodstock hospital will be allowed to move in and extend their structures on the property.

This follows a ruling at the Western Cape High Court after an application by the City of Cape Town for an interim interdict order to be made final. 

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In October, the City brought an urgent application interdicted housing activist movement Reclaim the City (RTC) from hosting an event at Woodstock hospital.

Lawyer for Ndifuna Ukwazi representing RTC Jonty Cogger said that the occupants did not oppose the application and the interdict was made final.

“This is a victory within a loss as what has happened is that the interdict states while no new occupants will be allowed to enter the hospital, the almost 700 occupants will be allowed to bring in their property or extend their structures. 

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"This is perhaps a first step towards inclusive housing, especially for this community of the poor and working class,” he said.

Cogger said that City had called for an urgent interdict when they had heard that the occupants intended to host an open house, exhibiting artwork and engaging with the community. 

Since March 2017, the property has been occupied by citizens headed by RTC and renamed the hospital after an anti-apartheid activist and a member of the City Council until her death in 1963, Cissie Gool.

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Cissie Gool House chapter leader Karen Hendricks said: “I feel this order is a victory for our community, since the list was finalised as the process was fair and allows us to move in furniture and extend structure if required.”

Mayoral committee member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi said the city was considering its position with regard to the way forward.

Cape Times

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