Marievale residents outside the high court after it ordered the SANDF to provide them with accommodation.

Pretoria - The North Gauteng High Court on Friday gave Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) five days to provide the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) with the list of names of people who want to return to the Marievale army base after they were illegally evicted in 2017.

The SANDF also has five days to furnish the LHR with a list of all houses available for accommodation.
 
The ruling comes after the LHR, which is representing the community of Marievale, brought an application that Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and two of her officials should be held in contempt of court for failing to comply with the court order to allow the community back onto the army base.

The initial order was granted in May, it stated that residents should be allowed back in 30 days. To date, no residents have moved back to the army base and they continue to stay in a nearby shanty town. 

Last week, counsel for the minister, advocate Taki Madima SC, told the court that accommodation was made available for the residents but they refused to move back.

He argued that the SANDF renovated the bungalows and spent more than R1 million to make the place inhabitable.

He conceded that the department did not meet the deadline of 30 days given by Judge Norman Davis and attributed this to budget constraints. 

However, he said one bungalow was ready in June, a month after the order was made, but residents still refused to move in.

Judge Davis also ordered that the SANDF has 60 days to provide accommodation to residents who could not be accommodated because of lack of space.

He said residents should be provided with temporary cooking and washing facilities.

African News Agency (ANA)