ConCourt to rule on land battle

2014-06-05 20:10
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Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will hand down judgment on Friday in a land battle between residents of an informal settlement in KwaZulu-Natal and the eThekwini municipality.

A total of 390 residents of Madlala Village, an informal settlement near Lamontville, turned to the Constitutional Court to appeal against a provincial high court order.

The order granted to the eThekwini municipality permitted it to use the police to prevent people from occupying or building homes on the land.

It was granted by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban in March 2013.

The order also ruled that the municipality and related government bodies could remove any materials, as well as demolish or destroy any structures found on the land.

The Madlala Village residents turned to the Constitutional Court for assistance after they lost an appeal against this order in the Supreme Court of Appeals.

In February this year, the Constitutional Court heard the applicants claimed their shacks and personal belongings had been destroyed 24 times by the municipal land invasion control unit in the presence of SA Police Service officers.

They settled in the area in September 2012.

The applicants argued that protection offered under the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act as well as the rights affirmed in Section 26 in the Constitution were at stake.

Section 26 grants all South Africans the right to have access to "adequate housing".

The respondents are the municipality, the human settlements MEC and the minister of police.

They contend the high court order was directed at preventing land invasions only subsequent to the date on which the order was granted.

- SAPA
Read more on:    durban  |  housing
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