Thursday, 2 July 2020

FOUR SUSPENDED AS NAKED MAN IS EVICTED IN SA


Cape Town authorities on Thursday morning said the four law-enforcement officials who were involved in the eviction of a naked man in Khayelitsha had been identified and suspended.

Executive director of safety and security Richard Bosman said he received a video of the incident just before 5pm on Wednesday. He said an investigation was launched into the matter and the officials were identified and suspended late on Wednesday evening.

In the video doing the rounds on social media, members of the city's anti-land invasion unit are seen removing the naked man, who had been washing himself, from his shack. There is a scuffle as the man tries to make his way back into his home,  with four or five officials blocking his path and some pushing him to the ground.

As he tries to get back,  other members of the team dismantle the front portion of the shack, which has a door and a window.

The members continue to dismantle the shack while the man sits on the bed.
In response to a query from GroundUp, Luthando Tyhalibongo, Spokesperson, City of Cape Town, said: “The incident of a nude man depicted on the video occurred during a City law enforcement operation. The actions of officers involved in this matter are being investigated with urgency, including other footage which the City has, and once the investigation has been completed the appropriate action will be taken.

“The land in question belongs to the City of Cape Town and the City has conducted various operations to prevent illegal land occupation.” Tyhalibongo said new attempts “to invade again” were being made “on a daily basis”.

“The land is earmarked for installation of services to serve the broader community in the area” he said. “There is an interdict in place as well as a recent court order which allows only 49 households to temporarily remain on the land until after the lockdown. The City must also maintain this recent court order.”

The Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act stipulates that no person may be evicted without a court order. Further, no evictions are permitted under Lockdown Level 3.

On 11 April, the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement officers demolished about 30 shacks in Empolweni, and more structures were destroyed in the days that followed. These actions were challenged in the Western Cape High Court by the Legal Resources Centre, acting on behalf of those whose shacks were destroyed. On 14 April, Judge Brian Hack ruled that 130 people in 49 households should be allowed back onto the land and should have their building materials restored to them.


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