‘Van Minnen’s response incorrect’

Colin Arendse, Wynberg

Mayco member, Benedicta van Minnen’s response to my letter about the Parkwood evictions is incorrect.

When the City evicted the homeless people twice before February 23 this year, it was indeed done without an eviction order.

The interdict that the City refers to and which was granted on February 26 is not an eviction order as contemplated in terms of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act. The interdict was granted to prevent other persons from occupying the unused land after it had already been occupied three days earlier. The evictions by the City prior to February 26 were done illegally without an eviction order which is why High Court Judge Lesley Weinkove, when making an order on September 6 specifically stated “until such time that there is a subsequent court order in respect of the current occupiers…” (paragraph 1, page 2 of High Court case No. 3340/2016). In terms of the law, one cannot evict first and then apply for permission to the court afterwards to rubber stamp the illegal eviction.

The High Court Interdict effectively means that the City must go back to
court to obtain a legal eviction order as required in terms of Section 26(3) of our country’s Constitution which states “no one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions”.

The victims of Parkwood will contest any eviction proceedings through their legal team as they wait for the City to give effect to the rest of their basic rights, including but not limited to, housing, water and adequate sanitation for the 47 families.