Court order before eviction

Colin Arendse, Wynberg

The Southern Mail must be lauded for continuing to report on the plight of our homeless families in Parkwood (“Residents wait for services after court order”, Wednesday September 28).

However, the City of Cape Town has been disingenuous with its response to the facts.

The interdict that the City refers to was only obtained three days after the first eviction on February 23. There is no legislation in our country that allows for a court order to be obtained after an illegal eviction. The interdict that the City obtained was to prevent further occupation of the land concerned. It follows that before the City carried out their double eviction, they should’ve applied for a court order first; not afterwards.

This was confirmed by Judge AJ Weinkove in his order on 6 September and he would not have made that ruling unless the City was already in possession of an eviction order.

Section 26 of our Constitution states quite clearly that nobody may be evicted unless a court order has been obtained. The act does not state that you may evict first and then apply for a court order which is what the City has erroneously done here in Parkwood.

Until the City complies with legislation, the current occupiers are constitutionally entitled to basic services like water and sanitation as one toilet and one tap between nine babies, 19 children and 131 adults is an affront to the dignity of the most vulnerable members of our society.

* The City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for human settlements, Benedicta van Minnen, responds:

The City would like to reiterate that no one was evicted without a court order.

The City does not evict anyone without an eviction order which is obtained in terms of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE).

The documents as per the media enquiry do not pertain to an eviction order but a court order for a final interdict to prevent the illegal invasion and/or occupation of City land.

The City approached the court on Friday February 26, on an urgent basis, for an interim interdict to prevent the further illegal invasion and occupation of its property situated in Parkwood. This was an illegal invasion and occupation of City land without the City’s permission.
A final interdict was obtained on Tuesday September 6 interdicting and restraining persons from entering City property and erecting illegal structures on the identified land in Parkwood.

The 43 families were present at court and the City engaged with them during the court process and is still engaging with them.