Malema to attend today’s open-toilet judgment

2011-04-29 07:27

Judgement is expected in the so-called open-toilet saga in Khayelitsha in the Cape High Court today – and ANC youth leader Julius Malema plans to attend.

The Democratic Alliance-led City of Cape Town stands accused of violating residents’ right to human dignity after 51 toilets were erected without enclosures in Makhaza, Khayelitsha in December 2009.

Malema, the African National Congress Youth League leader, has repeatedly used this against the opposition party in his campaigning ahead of local government elections on May 18.

The youth league issued a media advisory on Friday morning, saying Malema would be at court when the verdict is delivered.

The youth league, on behalf of community members, lodged a complaint about the open toilets with the SA Human Rights Commission in January last year.

The commission investigated the matter, said spokesperson Vincent Moaga, and found that the city had violated section 10 of the Constitution, the fundamental right to human dignity.

He said they had also not implemented their housing project in a reasonable manner as required by section 26 of the Constitution.

The City of Cape Town said the installation of 1?316 toilets in Makhaza and other informal settlements in 2009 was done on condition that residents would erect their own structures around the toilets for privacy.

Of these toilets, 1?265 were enclosed by residents, leaving many toilets without enclosures.

After a public outcry in May last year, the City of Cape Town decided to enclose the remaining open toilets with corrugated metal sheets.

But youth league members protested and broke the structures down, causing the city to remove all unenclosed toilets.

The commission recommended to the city that it reinstall these 51 toilets that had been removed, but the city appealed against the commission finding.

This was when the youth league decided to launch a court application on behalf of the residents.

Moaga said the applicants wanted the court to find the conduct of the City of Cape Town as well as the province’s premier, mayor and MEC of human settlements in violation of the Constitution.

“They also want the court to declare any written or oral agreement purported to have been entered between the city and individual members of the Makhaza community to be unlawful, and inconsistent with the constitutional duties of the city,” he said.

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