Settlers take council to court

2013-09-03 00:00

RESIDENTS of the Cato Crest informal settlement are taking the eThekwini Municipality to court over their eviction from the area.

The residents are seeking an urgent interdict against the municipality and the Human Settlements MEC following an alleged breach of a court order.

Last month, the high court granted Cato Crest residents an interim order, interdicting the municipality from demolishing and evicting them from their homes. However, this week the council began to demolish their homes without a court order, rendering a number of residents homeless.

Yesterday, Ndabo Mzimela of Abahlali base Cato Crest said they had opted to take the matter back to court because the city had not respected the previous ruling.

“In the first instance it is regrettable that the residents were forced to go to court to secure themselves against homelessness. However, the blatant disregard for the rule of law by the municipality is even more concerning,” said Mzimela.

Municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said the city had taken a resolution not to allow land invasion. “These people are setting us backward in terms of housing delivery.”

Mofokeng said they will continue to demolish informal structures built on municipal land.

Socio-economic Rights Institute executive director Stuart Wilson said: “Both evictions without court orders and the breach of a promise made to a court strike at the heart of the rule of law. The wanton demolition of homes — so common under apartheid — has no place in our democracy.”

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