Rasta temple safe for now

By Drum Digital
28 March 2012

The Western Cape High Court has granted a reprieve to a group of Cape Town Rastafarians whose community hall was to be demolished by the municipality, it was reported on Wednesday.

The Cape Times reported that the Drakenstein municipality approached the court for an eviction order as it believed the group was unlawfully occupying the land. It wanted to use the land for a formal housing project.

The 20-year-old Paarl settlement, known as Kingston Town, was home to a few families who had built three informal structures, including the main hall used as a temple.

Acting Judge Boet Smit ordered the municipality to build three zinc structures for the families in neighbouring Denneboom. The municipality would only dismantle those parts of the hall that obstructed construction.

Should it go back to court, the Rastafarians would argue the space was considered holy ground and its demolition would amount to an infringement of their right to practice their religion.

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