Monday, 17 October 2016
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement
Minister of Police Pays Damages to Ayanda Kota for 2012 Assault in the Grahamstown Police Station
On 12 January 2012 Ayanda Kota was subject to a serious assault, in the presence of his son (then six years old), in the Grahamstown police station. His trousers were pulled down to his ankles and he was beaten by a number of police officers. As the beating was taking place one of the police officers called others to ‘see the news-maker of the year now’. Continue reading
DURBAN HIGH COURT STOPS THOUSANDS OF EVICTIONS
Today Judge Mokgohloa, sitting in the Durban High Court handed down judgment in MEC for Human Settlements, KwaZulu Natal v. eThekwini Municipality and Others. The Judge struck down a temporary court order that had been used by the MEC and the Durban Municipality to evict thousands of poor people from informal settlements in Durban.
The MEC claimed that the order was used only to prevent land invasions. But SERI, acting on behalf of Abahlali baseMjondolo, and thirty of its members, whose homes the Durban Municipality destroyed 5 times by relying on the order, argued that it was an “eviction order in disguise”. SERI argued that the order was intended to progressively remove the occupants of more than 1 500 parcels of open land in Durban without having to follow normal court procedures or give notice to the occupants. Continue reading
Thursday, 20 August 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement
Breaking news: Abahlali baseMjondolo has won an important victory in in the Durban High Court against the MEC for Human Settlements and the eThekwini Municipality
The MEC sought the confirmation of an interim order which, he said, permitted him to restrain the “invasion” of over 1000 properties within the Durban area, by directing the eThekwini Municipality and the Police to “take all the necessary steps to prevent any persons from invading or occupying the properties” to “remove any materials placed” on the properties and “demolish any structure” placed on the properties.
The order was granted in March 2013. Since then, it has been used to evict many hundreds, if not thousands, of poor people living in shacks on open land in Durban. Two of the affected communities: Sisonke Village (formerly known as Madlala Village and represented by the LRC in Durban) and Cato Crest (represented by SERI) together with Abahlali, acting in the public interest and on behalf of its members intervened in the case in order to have the interim interdict set aside. Continue reading
Concourt slams “unacceptable” evictions
On 6 June 2014, the Constitutional Court handed down judgment in Zulu and 389 Others v eThekwini Municipality and Others (Zulu). SERI represents Abahlali baseMjondolo (Abahlali) who acted as amicus curiae in the case. The case concerned the interpretation of a court order obtained by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works on 28 March 2013 from the Durban High Court. The order permits the Durban municipality to “prevent any persons from invading and/or occupying and/or undertaking the construction of any structures” on specified land within the municipality’s area of jurisdiction and to “remove any materials placed by any persons upon” that land. The order was used to justify the Cato Crest evictions in 2013.
Abahlali baseMjondolo has filed its heads of argument as amicus curiae in the Marikana land occupation appeal. The appeal will be heard on 27 May 2014 in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The occupiers are represented by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), while SERI represents Abahlali as amicus in the appeal.
The case involves the occupation of a piece of privately-owned land, dubbed "Marikana", located in Philippi, Cape Town. The property owner and the City of Cape Town are appealing an order handed down by the Western Cape High Court in March 2014, which found that the City's Anti-Land Invasion Unit had unlawfully demolished informal structures on the land. The City was ordered to rebuild the shacks. The court rejected the City's argument that it was entitled to demolish structures without a court order if it deemed the structures were unoccupied.