A file picture of residents of Marievale protesting outside court. Picture: Zelda Venter
A file picture of residents of Marievale protesting outside court. Picture: Zelda Venter

Eviction of civilians from Marievale military base back in court

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Sep 14, 2021

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Pretoria - For four years, residents of the Marievale military base outside Nigel have been embroiled in legal proceedings with the SANDF in a bid to live in peace on the base. But now the SANDF is formally asking for their eviction.

The Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, in 2017 ordered that the SANDF could not take matters into its own hands by evicting the civilian residents.

The SANDF has been ordered over the years not to harass or manhandle the residents, or demolish their shacks.

After their illegal eviction four years ago, most of the about 100 residents have settled at Happiness Village next to the army base. But the residents complained military personnel were making life difficult for them.

Earlier this year they approached the court claiming that soldiers armed with R4 assault rifles and pangas approached Happiness Village.

They said the soldiers started assaulting residents and demolished their shacks. Before this alleged incident, four soldiers had apparently entered the village to investigate the construction of new houses.

They said early the next morning two officers and about 30 soldiers entered the village and made threatening comments to some of the residents before they demolished the houses.

The residents turned to the court with the help of Lawyers for Human Rights to once again interdict the SANDF from intimidating and trying to unlawfully evict them.

The SANDF has now approached the court for an eviction order. The Lawyers for Humans Rights said they would oppose the matter.

The residents have claimed that it has all to do with mining rights in the area and that things will be easier with them gone.

This was denied by the SANDF, which maintained that Marievale was a designated military training institution. It is used for, among other things, the training of new members of the Military Police for crime prevention, and for training by the army support base in the Gauteng South region.

The eviction application will be heard at a later stage.

Pretoria News

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