Delft Occupiers At the Bellville Court Protesting at the Arrest of 5 People for Resisting Eviction
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release
24th December 2007
In a major victory for about 1000 backyard dwellers and the homeless residents of Delft, the Cape High Court granted an interim order at 5pm today (21/12/2007) interdicting anyone from evicting or threatening to evict those residents who occupied the newly built houses in Delft last week.
The ruling temporarily suspends the eviction order of 30th October 2006 that the police, for the past week, have been using to threaten, intimidate and evict the residents.
The residents will appear in court again on the 3rd of January 2008 to hear the judge’s final ruling.
The state, including Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Housing (who yesterday instructed the police to “clear out” the residents); Thubelisha Homes; and any associated company or individual are now totally forbidden from threatening or trying to evict the residents.
In addition, the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign is delighted that the same judge denied Thubelisha Homes application for a new eviction order.
Although this is a short term victory, it is a very positive ruling in the sense that:
1. It clearly prevents the DA and ANC from choosing to act unlawfully by simply unleashing huge amounts of police and private security on poor and vulnerable communities to evict them, whereas they know very well that they are supposed to seek a High Court eviction order.
2. It shows that organised communities are clearly against the ludicrous ANC/DA forced removal plan (which goes by the name of N2 Gateway project) and that they are not going to stop resisting it, and hence the ANC/DA must shelve this plan and consult with communities towards a real solution that provides houses for all (and not some cosmetic solution that sees a couple of expensive showhouses built along the highway while everyone else gets dumped in the sand in the back of Delft, out of sight).
3. It shows that communities are not going to be deterred from using the High Court by the high cost of overpriced advocates – in this case four Anti-Eviction Campaign working class activists worked through the nights for the whole weekend collecting over 800 affidavits to bring an interim interdict against the state, and presenting the case to the Judge.
The police may now face a damages claim since they were informed by the Anti-Eviction Campaign this afternoon that they must hold off on evicting people, since the matter was being heard in the High Court. The police, however, refused and in fact broke the law by breaking into the houses and removing peoples’ furniture, which was damaged.
For comment please call Ashraf Cassiem, Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign paralegal on 076 1861408 or Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign activists Mzonke Poni on 073 2562036 or Mncedisi Twala on 078 5808646 or Pamela Beukes on 079 3709614.
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign and Delft Residents on their Way to Seek Court Interdict
The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign and residents of Delft who occupied the new houses last week, are on their way to the Cape High Court to seek an urgent Rule Nisi preventing Minister of Housing Lindiwe Sisulu, from forcibly removing them at 9am this morning.
The Campaign is confident of success since the State does not have an eviction order.
About 1000 long suffering backyard dwellers of Delft occupied the houses last week. Although police removed them by force, unlawfully since they had no eviction order, the residents re-occupied the houses on the weekend.
At 4am this morning massive amounts of private security and police and army entered the area and started preparing to evict people again. Yesterday, a Mr Kolbi (082 4922922) who is a manager with one of the construction companies working there threatened people with physical violence for most of the day, and tried to evict them himself.
Thus we see the ANC’s application of their “rule of law” – private individuals are allowed to roam around freely threatening the vulnerable (Kolbi is not the sheriff of the court who does not have a court order to evict people anyway), the state deploys large amounts of forces to evict without a court order, and forced removals are the order of the day.
For info from the court call Ashraf Cassiem on 076 1861408
Major Clash Expected in Delft Tomorrow – 4 truck loads of police move in to evict 1000 people
Sunday 23 December 2007
DELFT, CAPE TOWN – A major clash looks likely to take place tomorrow (Monday 24th December 2007) from early in the morning in Delft, Cape Town.
Today, Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Housing, gave the instruction to Thubelisha Homes and the SA Police to decisively remove all 1000 people who have occupied the 500 newly built BNG houses in Delft.
Shortly after she gave this instruction, four truckloads of soldiers stationed themselves at Delft police station.
We must point out that this looming eviction will be completely illegal. There is absolutely no eviction order from the court that would authorise the government to evict these residents.
This also shows that the new Zuma led ANC is no better than the Mbeki led ANC, since the new ANC National Executive Committee has done nothing to try and resolve this situation. Once again, it is a case of unleashing huge amounts of police and soldiers to brutalise people who are out of sight of the public.
However, tomorrow’s police brutality will not go unnoticed. The community has appealed for support from other communities tomorrow morning and many people will attend.
They will also be holding a demonstration outside the Bellville Magistrates Court where three Delft activists will appear having been arrested last week for occupying the houses.
The people of Delft have been promised houses for almost 14 years by the ANC government and by every different municipal government in Cape Town and they have every right to take over those houses which are standing empty. Like other communities in SA, Delft is in a crisis. It is extremely overcrowded and people are desperate for housing. The government has made a very foolish blunder by proposing to leave the homeless of Delft in their backyards and forcibly remove the people of Joe Slovo to Delft, where they do not want to go.