Court halts Lenasia demolitions - SAHRC

2012-11-12 13:01
Police whisk away a Lenasia woman whose house was demolished. Picture: Herman Verwey, City Press

Police whisk away a Lenasia woman whose house was demolished. Picture: Herman Verwey, City Press

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Application to stop Lenasia demolitions

2012-11-12 09:40

The Human Rights Commission is launching an urgent court application to try and stop the demolition of illegal homes in Lenasia. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - A court order halted the demolition of houses in Lenasia illegally erected on land owned by the City of Johannesburg on Monday, the SA Human Rights Commission said.

Spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the South Gauteng High Court granted the commission's application, and suspended the demolitions for at least 24 hours.

"The court is also granting the department an opportunity to respond to the commission's application which will be heard on Tuesday," he said.

Time to consult

The Gauteng department of local government and housing began destroying houses last Thursday and Friday as the land they had been built on was meant for government housing.

About 50 houses had been destroyed so far and another 113 were yet to be demolished. Fraudsters had apparently sold plots of the land, giving buyers forged deeds of sale with the department's logo.

The department defended the demolitions and said it was acting in line with the law.

On Monday residents blockaded a road leading into Lenasia with rocks and burning tyres, protesting against the demolitions. Police watched from two armoured vehicles.

Many of the protesters wore African National Congress, SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and Congress of SA Trade Union (Cosatu) T-shirts.

Mangena said the judge presiding over the matter asked that the commission conduct a poll to determine how many people would be affected by the demolitions, and how many houses had been, and would be, destroyed. "This gives us time to consult with the residents to establish factual evidence that may be of assistance to all parties in this matter," he said.


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Read more on:    sahrc  |  johannesburg  |  protests  |  housing

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