Tensions between the City and the SA Human Rights Commission have escalated after the former brought an interdict against the latter to stop monitoring its Strandfontein site. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency
Tensions between the City and the SA Human Rights Commission have escalated after the former brought an interdict against the latter to stop monitoring its Strandfontein site. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Strandfontein site dispute between City, SAHRC heads to court

By Marvin Charles Time of article published May 15, 2020

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Cape Town - Tensions between the City and the SA Human Rights Commission have escalated after the former brought an interdict against the latter to stop monitoring its Strandfontein site for the homeless.

The commission's Chris Nissen said: “The City took the Human Rights Commission to court because of its understanding of our mandate in monitoring the site.

"As the commission, we believe

our mandate is solid, and we need to guard our mandate and let the court decide.

“We have been monitoring throughout the country and have engaged with communities where there are little resources.

"The role of the monitors is to see and to address concerns...

"I have monitored Strandfontein, and when some women complained to me about not having sanitary towels, I raised it with the authorities inside and outside the camp.

"Some complained about not having mattresses to sleep on and we have raised it.

"The monitors would raise all

sorts of issues that they see which are important or that border on alleged violation or dignity of people,” he added.

Nissen said he had been told of someone at the camp who had recently tested positive for Covid-19.

The City has said it was in the process of finalising the closure of the temporary shelter and had been working closely with a number of shelters regarding future housing for those at the camp.

The City has also filed for an interdict in the Western Cape High Court to prevent 10 applicants from entering the site, “threatening” members or “publishing or disseminating reports relating to the site”.

Mayco member for community and health services Zahid Badroodien said: “The Health Department, supported by external service providers, is currently assessing the position on site at Strandfontein.

"The City is aware of the

misinformation being shared by an appointed Human Rights Commission monitor.

“The monitor has failed to consult with the City to verify the information prior to distributing the report,” said Badroodien.

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus

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