[Press Release] Marievale Community in back in Court today to fight illegal evictions by SANDF

LHR is back in court today for the hearing of an urgent application launched against the Minister of Defence and Millitary Veterans and SANDF on behalf of residents of Marievale who were illegally evicted from their homes in November and December 2017.


Late last year leading into the festive season, members of SANDF stormed into the homes of about 150 families residing in a small village known as Marievale and evicted them in the most violent manner in the absence of a court order. During the eviction members of the military went from door to in armoured tanks invading the homes of the residents, forcing them to pack their possessions and vacate the houses with guns pointed at them.


Marievale was a military base formerly occupied by members of the military. However, as the base fell largely into disuse some of the vacant houses became occupied by veterans and civilian families consisting of children, women and elderly persons. Some of the evicted residents had been living in Marievale from as far back as the 1990s but have now been left destitute and living in very poor conditions.


SANDF denies evicting the residents and states that the military houses were occupied illegally and without authorisation.


In spite of Section 26 (3) of the Constitution which states that no one may be evicted from their home without a court order, SANDF saw it fit to take the law into its own hands by forcing the residents out of their homes. “Not only was the conduct of SANDF illegal, but unconstitutional and disgraceful. It is a fundamental threat to the rule of law when the very people who pledge to uphold the constitution act in flagrant breach of the legal system” said Thandeka Chauke.


For more information please contact Louise Du Plessis, Land and Housing Programme Manager on 012 320 2943 or Carol Mohlala, Media and Communications Manager on 079 238 9826