PRESS STATEMENT| Court Grants Leave to Appeal Against Court Order to Evict Former Mine Workers in Kriel Community

Date: 07/12/2022

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) represents a large group of former  mine workers of Anglo-American Platinum Mine from an eviction application from Seriti Coal Mine (the current new owner).  The Middleburg High Court in Mpumalanga handed down a Judgment on 31 May 2022 to evict over fifty-six households. LHR Successfully Brought an Application for Leave to Appeal Against this Judgment that would Ultimately Render Hundreds of People Homeless.

The former mine workers and their families have resided in these houses for a number of years ranging from 10 to 40 years. Most of the families residing on the property from which Seriti, are originally from various provinces within South Africa and  many began working for Anglo-American during the apartheid era.

The Middleburg High Court handed a judgment to evict these families without the provision of suitable alternative accommodation. LHR’s grounds for appeal was that an eviction of this scale would not be just and equitable given the history of occupation of these former mine workers, the amount of years they have lived in these homes, the unavailability of alternative suitable accommodation – as stated by the municipality of the area and the houses belong to Eskom – a state entity. Arguments were also put forward that it must be taking into account the unequal power relationship between the mine and the former mine workers. The former mine workers were uprooted from their ancestral homes in pursuit of a better life and the mine providing housing to curb costs and have access to a low cost labour force. This is a unique eviction of people who were marginalized under the apartheid era and continue to be suffer under the perpetuated practice of treating black people as dispensable, even in a Constitutional dispensation.

LHR was granted leave to appeal to a full court bench on 11 November 2022. Deborah Raduba, LHR’s Land and Housing Programme attorney said, “We hope the full bench will take into cognoscente the overall factors in this eviction application, in light of the established jurisprudence in eviction law and the historical context of the previously disadvantaged group now faced homelessness.”

For further information, please contact:

Deborah Raduba, LHR Attorney,

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