It is with the greatest concern that Lawyers for Human Rights notes the intention of the Dawid Kruiper Municipality to illegally evict 16 Congolese and Burundian foreign nationals from their current place of safety – a shelter that the Municipality had provided for them. The foreign nationals are victims of xenophobic attacks that occurred in Mapoteng Kathu on the 26th  June 2018 which resulted in them fleeing to Upington as they feared for their lives. As a result of the violent attacks they lost their respective properties and places of business. They are currently without family or any financial means assist them in their situation.
On the 26th June 2018, LHR, South African Human Rights Commission and the Speaker of the municipal council, Mr Michael Segede convened a meeting in which the Speaker categorically mentioned that they will undeniably unlawfully evict the victims and that was as well the Mayor’s stance on the issue. It is also the municipality’s intention to transport the victims back to Kathu even though it had been confirmed both by the Mayor and acting municipal manager of Gamagara Municpality that it will not be in the victims best interests to be returned as their lives are still in threat in Kathu.
Lawyers for Human Rights further advised the Speaker and other municipal officials of the unlawfulness of their intended conduct and how by doing so, it contravenes various legislations. The first being the Disaster Management Act in their failure to manage the situation, secondly the Housing Code with regard to matters of emergency housing and ultimately the Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act in intending to unlawfully evict them.
LHR intends on urgently approaching a court of law to prevent the unlawful eviction of the 16 vulnerable- victims.
For more information please contact Carol Mohlala, Media and Communications Manager on 0792389826 or Sharon Ekambaram, Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme Manager on 011 339 1960