Legal battle of Cape homeless and the City takes another twist
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Cape Town - The legal battle between the City and the homeless has taken another turn, with the homeless applicants withdrawing their contempt of court application against the City, which they said had continued to issue fines despite having an agreement in place.
The agreement stated that the City undertook to desist and refrain from enforcing or further prosecuting fines and summonses issued to the applicants until their interim interdict application is heard on December 3.
“I have been instructed to withdraw the contempt (of court) application so that we can concentrate more on the interim interdict application which is to be heard on December 3, and so that we can prepare for the main review proceedings looking at the constitutionality of the conduct of the City and the by-laws themselves,” said Lucien Lewin, a director at Dingley Marshall, the law firm representing the seven homeless applicants.
“The notice of withdrawal was delivered to the City’s attorneys."
In its responding affidavit for the contempt of court matter, the City had pinned its actions down to a technicality.
It said the matter was not as urgent as the applicants had contended, and that the applicants had irregularly cited mayor Dan Plato, mayco member for safety and security JP Smith and executive director for safety and security Richard Bosman as respondents in their application.
The City also said that the applicants lacked standing to act on behalf of persons not party to the application, and that the City had not maliciously contravened the order (agreement).
“The undertaking does not preclude the respondent (City) from enforcing compliance with other laws and by-laws,” said City manager Lungelo Mbandazayo.
Prior to the agreement the applicants’ legal team conveyed their understanding thereof and it was on this basis that the City consented to it, Mbandazayo pointed out.