Woodstock residents to tell their own stories in bid to save their homes

2018-02-19 17:21
Some residents of Albert Road in Woodstock chat to their lawyer, Mark Owen, outside the courtroom in Cape Town on Monday. (Barbara Maregele, GroundUp)

Some residents of Albert Road in Woodstock chat to their lawyer, Mark Owen, outside the courtroom in Cape Town on Monday. (Barbara Maregele, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Some Woodstock residents will testify in court on Tuesday in a bid to explain why the eviction orders against them should be set aside, GroundUp has reported.

The case against a group of families facing eviction from their homes in Albert Road, Woodstock, commenced in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday.

During the brief hearing, Magistrate Paul Jethro commended the lawyer representing the families, Mark Owen, for the interest he has taken in his clients.

"I assume that you have depicted their personal circumstances adequately in the opposing papers, but I will afford them the opportunity to tell me their stories," he said.

Some of the residents have been living in Woodstock for more than three decades.

Jethro read a section of the heads of argument for the landlord's lawyer, Ahmed Ebrahim, which stated: "A distinction has to be made for applicants for eviction of an unlawful occupier brought by land owners and evictions instituted by the state."

Ebrahim's argument further stated that "a private landowner has no obligation to provide housing to achieve the objects of Section 22 (1) of the Constitution".

Jethro then asked the lawyers to answer whether a distinction should be made between private landowners and the state, and what role the Municipality Act plays when property is privately owned, when they present their cases tomorrow.

The residents, living in a block converted into apartments in Albert Road, were served with eviction notices in March and April 2017 to vacate their homes for not paying rent. But the residents have accused the landlord, known only as Mr Patel, of neglecting to maintain the property.

The residents said they stopped paying rent after their water was cut off more than a year ago due to non-payment. The landlord's lawyer has disputed the residents' version.

During an earlier hearing, the court asked the City of Cape Town to submit a report on possible alternative places for the residents to live. The City offered to house the families in Wolwerivier and Blikkiesdorp. Both areas are far from the city centre and the living conditions are grim.

The families have previously said that they would reject offers by the City if it suggests housing them outside of Woodstock.

The hearing continues on Tuesday.

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing  |  service delivery

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.