Sowetan: Squatters to defy council

Squatters to defy council

03 March 2009
Anna Majavu

About 600 people camping along a busy highway in Cape Town have vowed not to vote after being warned yesterday that the city council intends to ask the Cape high court to evict them.

And the DA now faces a showdown with the community, which has vowed not to move, just weeks before the elections.

The 98 families rented backyard rooms in Delft when they received letters from DA councillor Frank Martin in December 2007, instructing them to occupy new government N2 Gateway houses.

In the letter, Martin wrote: “You are hereby given authorisation in my personal capacity as a public representative to move into a house at Delft. ”

At the time, hundreds of people rushed from the meeting to collect their furniture and then moved into the houses.

They were evicted three months later, but the backyard rooms they came from had already been rented out, community leader Karima Linneveldt told Sowetan yesterday.

“We had no choice but to camp here on the side of the road. It’s because of the DA that we left our rooms, so how can they evict us again?” Linneveldt asked.

She condemned the city’s decision to relocate the community to the “Blikkiesdorp” area just kilometres away – a government-built shack community housing more than 1000 people.