Fri, 22 Jan 2021

Bosman claimed the land in question belongs to the City and that the City has conducted various operations to prevent illegal land occupation.

"After the removal of illegal structures, new attempts are made to invade again on a daily basis. There is an interdict in place as well as a recent court order which allows only 49 households to temporarily remain on the land until after the lockdown," Bosman said.

"The City must also maintain this recent court order, which the community is aware of."

Meanwhile, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said she was appalled by the victimisation and abuse of residents of Empolweni in Khayelitsha by the metro police, led by City councillors.

"The barbaric eviction of a resident, humiliated as he fought for his basic right to shelter, is unconscionable," said Sisulu.

She said when the City first attempted to evict residents, she intervened and supported the residents' court process challenging their eviction.

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

Sisulu has instructed the Housing Development Agency to start the process of building permanent structures for the 49 families who were given legal authority by the court to remain in Empolweni.

"All evictions need a court order and no court would have granted an eviction order against explicit lockdown regulations. The City must have therefore evicted people without authority or lied to the court," Sisulu said.

The DA, which governs the Western Cape, has welcomed the action taken by the City.

In a late-night tweet, the party's interim leader John Steenhuisen commended the "swift action".

"We remain a democratic state and not a military state. We must promote the law and Bill of Rights at all times, rejecting brutality," Steenhuisen said.

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