Schubart Park eviction unlawful - ConCourt

2012-10-09 14:41
Metro police officers evict people from Schubart Park. (File, Sapa)

Metro police officers evict people from Schubart Park. (File, Sapa)

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Pretoria - The eviction of about 700 families from the council-owned Schubart Park building in Pretoria was unlawful, the Constitutional Court has ruled.

The court on Tuesday instructed the Tshwane Metro Council to hold more “meaningful” talks with the evicted residents and to pay their legal fees.

The court also ordered residents and Tshwane to report on these deliberations to the high court to determine, as soon as “reasonably” possible, when residents can return to their homes.

The residents were removed after violent clashes between police and residents following protests over unpaid water and electricity bills.

The judgment comes after the high court had found that the building was unsafe and ordered the city and residents to reach an agreement on temporary accommodation pending an inquiry into the refurbishments of the complex.

The two groups were unable to reach an agreement and the high court ordered that if renovations were impossible, the building should be demolished and residents should be given alternative accommodation.

But counsel for the residents, Rudolph Jansen SC, argued that the council had illegally evicted residents without obtaining an order from the court first.

The Constitutional Court set aside the high court order and declared that the eviction had been unlawful, thereby sending the parties back to the drawing board.

- City Press

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