Delft evictions halted until next year
By Ilhaam Hoosain
26 December 2007
Hundreds of Cape Flats families will be spending the festive season in the Delft houses they informally occupied, after Cape High Court Judge Deon Van Zyl ordered a temporary halt to their eviction on at 5PM on Monday.
Police and a private security company on Monday recommenced, evicting families from the houses, which are allocated for residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement who cannot be accommodated there when the settlement is upgraded.
The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign applied for an urgent interdict on behalf of the families.
The interdict was granted on the grounds that the evictions were being carried out illegally on the basis of an eviction order granted to the City of Cape Town on October last year, against other people.
Chairperson Ashraf Cassiem announced they had won a respite at about 5:15PM. He said that Thubelisha Homes, the housing company tasked with building homes on the Joe Slovo site as part of the N2 Gateway project, had asked the judge for a fresh eviction order, but the judge had refused it.
“The judge said that the order the City of Cape Town the Metro police, the SAPS and these private security company was using was an unlawful order, in other words the order was out of date and it wasn’t valid so that means the order they were using was an illegal one,” says Cassiem.
Martin was arrested last week for allegedly encouraging people to move into the new homes.
He demanded that the houses be handed over to the angry Delft residents. According to Thubelisha Homes Xhandi Sigcawu, Councillor Martin wrote letters to the beneficiary indicating to them that he is giving the people permission to occupy houses.
In a previous interview with Sigcawu he had this to say:
“The process is you have a waiting list and a committee that looks at the allocation.
The committee that comprise of officials from the City of Cape Town, the local government and housing department in the Western Cape and officials from the National Department of Housing. Thubelisha will then be given a list of names of people that should be moved to houses.”
He goes on to say that for councilor Martin to act in the manner in which he did, is totally uncalled for. He is now inviting people to move to houses illegally.
Sigcawu said that Martin does not have the right to give anyone permission to occupy houses.
The SA Police Service and the city metro police, plus a security firm, have been evicting people since last week.
Cassiem said about 700 families were represented in the application. City of Cape Town spokesperson Dan Plato says the sheriff with the assistance of the police, metro police and a private security company moved in to the sight and started to evict the people last week.