Activists protest outside Cape official's house over Khayelitsha evictions

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Jul 1, 2020

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Cape Town - Fed up housing activists are protesting outside Mayco Member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi’s private residence in Blouberg, demanding that he personally explain the evictions which occurred in Khayelitsha on Wednesday.

Khayelitsha Community Action Network in support of eThembeni community visited Booi's resident to demand answers regarding evictions which led to shacks being demolished.

On Wednesday, The City’ of Cape Town's Anti-Land Invasion Unit, accompanied by law enforcement officers, demolished shacks at a site called eThembeni, near Empolweni, in Khayelitsha. 

In video footage of one of the evictions,  Cape Town enforcement officers violently eject a naked man from his shack. They are seen ejecting the naked man from his shack, before throwing him to the ground, and repeatedly preventing him from returning to the shack.

Ndifuna Ukwazi's Ntsiki Dlulani said: “Tonight, we are visiting Mayco Member Malusi Booi’s house to demand answers regarding who ordered these illegal evictions and on what mandate they acted on.

“We demand the immediate suspension of all the law enforcement officials who were present during today’s illegal evictions. We demand all the confiscated material to be returned to their owners. We demand a commitment from Malusi Booi to halt all evictions during the period of lockdown.”

Booi told the Cape Argus that he is not currently at home and he was informed by his neighbours about the protest.

“I’m in disbelief for them to invade spaces of my family and our privacy. City law enforcement has issued a statement (and) we have strongly condemned the incident today. When our law enforcement executes their duties, they must do so humanely.”

Fed up housing activists are protesting outside Mayco Member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi’s private residence in Blouberg. Picture: Supplied

Fed up housing activists are protesting outside Mayco Member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi’s private residence in Blouberg. Picture: Supplied

Meanwhile, Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu said she is appalled by today's scenes and has announced that she intends to challenge the City of Cape Town over the evictions.

The minister's spokesperson, Yonela Diko said: “When the City of Cape Town first attempted to evict these residents, the minister intervened and supported the residents' court process challenging their eviction.

“Upon their court victory, the City of Cape Town was instructed to return all material of the residents that they had confiscated and the residents were given legal authority to remain in Empolweni.

“The minister has since instructed the Housing Development Agency to start the process of building permanent structures for the 49 families that were given legal authority by the court to remain in Empolweni," Diko said.

“All evictions need a court order and no court would have granted an eviction order against explicit lockdown regulations. The City of Cape Town must have therefore evicted people without authority or lied to the court.” 

Responding to Sisulu, Booi said, “She has not engaged with us but we will await what she says and we will hold further discussions with her.”

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus

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