Court rules that the Municipality must provide temporary shelter for families who lost their homes in Lusikisiki!

On the 6th of October 2016, the Ngquza Hill Local Municipality, in the Province of the Eastern Cape demolished 36 homes on the property known as the New Rest Community, situated on a portion of Erf 49 Lusikisiki.
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) approached the the Grahamstown High Court to seek urgent relief for these families and to further argue that the actions of the Municipality be declared unlawful.
On the 18th of  October 2016 the Grahamstown High Court offered the families urgent relief and made the following ruling:
  • The Municipality must construct emergency temporary habitable tents or similar dwellings that afford shelter, privacy and amenities, for the 36 families, at the property at which their residences were demolished;
  • The Municipality and others be interdicted and restrained from threatening, harassing the 36 families.  
  • The Municipality and LHR must engage in a process of negotiation with the purpose of resolving the dispute between the parties before 08 November 2016
Louise Du Plessis, had this to say about this case “we are very concerned Municipality denied demolishing any homes whilst it is clear that the homes were demolished under someone’s instruction. We urge the municipality to take immediate action against the person that instructed the demolishment.”
She further says that “it is also disheartening that our clients had to approach us to assist them with a criminal charge after because the police refused to open a case about this issue”.
LHR hopes that the Municipality will agree to resolve this matter without litigation, and restore our clients right to dignity and right to access adequate housing.
Three Things to remember when being evicted or your property is being demolished:
  • Always ask to see the Court Order
  • The Sheriff must be present
  • Consult a Lawyer
For more information, contact Louise Du Plessis, Land and Housing Programme Manager, 082 346 0744 or Carol Mohlala, Media and Communications Manager, 061 906 0353