Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
23 Dec 2021
12:53 pm

City of Cape Town loses appeal against lockdown eviction prohibition

Citizen Reporter

The case relates to the July 2020 eviction of a naked man from his shack in Khayelitsha.

Bulelani Qholani speaks outside his shack on 2 July 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

The City of Cape Town’s attempts to appeal against an interim order prohibiting evictions during lockdown has proven unsuccessful, after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed their application, in large part, with costs.

The Supreme Court delivered its judgement on Wednesday afternoon relating to the eviction of Bulelani Qolani.

In July 2020, the City of Cape Town’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit (ALIU), accompanied by City law enforcement officers, demolished shacks in Khayelitsha.

Qolani was forcefully removed from his shack by the City officials while he was naked.

ALSO READ: City of Cape Town suspends officers who dragged naked man from shack

Following the incident, Qolani, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and social justice movement, the Housing Assembly went to court in bid to prevent the City from carrying out evictions during lockdown without a court order.

The parties were seeking an interim order to interdict the City in part A of their application.

In part B, they asked the court to declare the City’s conduct during the evictions as unconstitutional.

Appeal

The Western Cape High Court last year granted an interim interdict for part A, which the City sought to appeal, pending the judgement of part B.

The City’s appeal application was heard by the Supreme Court of Appeals in November this year.

In the matter, the SCA dismissed the City’s application.

“The SCA held that on comparing the interim orders sought to be appealed with those sought in part B, it was clear that the decision was not final in effect as these orders would be reconsidered by the full court in part B,” the judgement reads.

The ruling further states: “The City was not precluded from evicting persons, but merely prohibited from doing so without judicial supervision.

“The orders were not final in effect and there would be no irreparable harm if the interim orders were not set aside. The appeal in respect of those interim orders had to be dismissed.”

The Supreme Court, however, upheld the City’s appeal against a claim for compensation.

READ MORE: Naked man gets dragged out of his shack by CT officers

The City had been ordered by Western Cape High Court to provide residents, whose shacks were demolished, with building materials.

It was also ordered to pay each occupant of the property R2,000 as compensation for the loss of their personal possessions.

The relief was granted to the EFF and occupiers of Erf 544 in Mfuleni.

“The SCA found that the relief sought therein was final and not of an interim nature and should not have been awarded in interim proceedings.

“In addition, there was insufficient detail on the papers as to the nature of the items taken and from whom they had been taken. The appeal was successful in this regard.”

The relief sought in part B, meanwhile, was also heard in November and judgment was reserved.

The judgement is expected to be delivered in 2022.

Additional reporting by GroundUp