PRESS STATEMENT | Informal Settlement In Laudium Faces Continuous Harassment and Unlawful Eviction From The City Of Tshwane

Date: 24/05/2022

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) is in urgent court today, 24 May 2022, defending the Nkandla Informal Settlement from another unlawful eviction by the City of Tshwane,  the Tshwane Metro Police Department and several security companies. This unlawful eviction will render over a hundred families homeless, including women headed households, children, the elderly and people with disability. This is not a mere eviction but also the destruction and theft (under the guise confiscation) of personal property.

Nkandla Informal Settlement was established on a piece of land on a rocky mountain off Military Road, Laudium, Thabatshwane, Pretoria. Members of the community, faced with poverty, desperation, and lack of shelter as a misfortune brought upon them by unemployment, occupied and settled on the land from the beginning of 2020. This would serve as their home until the start of the cycle of harassment and unlawful evictions in October 2021 by the City of Tshwane through the agency of private security and the Tshwane Metro Police Department.

The series of harassment and unlawful evictions upon the community by the city resulted in demolished shacks, “confiscation” of the remains of shack structures/materials and loss of personal belongings such as identity documents, food, clothes, furniture, appliances, school uniforms and blankets. The City of Tshwane supposedly confiscates the people’s belongings, however, the property is nowhere to be found whenever the community tries to retrieve it.  The conduct of the City of Tshwane amounts to theft and destruction of property which is a crime. However, it seems that there is little concern because the destroyed/stolen property belongs to indigent people.

This has happened several times since 2021 and the community received another notice two weeks ago that they will be forcibly removed from the property once again. LHR is approaching the court on an urgent basis to interdict the City of Tshwane from unlawfully evicting this community yet again. Section 26 (3) of the Constitution clearly states that no one may be evicted from their home or have their homes demolished without a court order.

“It’s unconscionable that the government is not only evicting a community without a court order but is also destroying and stealing their belongings. This is clearly a crime,” says LHR’s Land and Housing Programme attorney, Deborah Raduba. LHR also intends to bring a part B application for constitutional damages. Additionally, requesting the court to not only declare the conduct of City of Tshwane unlawful but illegal as well.

The matter is being heard before the Pretoria High Court, Pretoria, on 24 May 2022.

Support for this case was generously provided by Comic Relief.

For further information, please contact:

Deborah Raduba

Lawyers for Human Rights

012 320 2943/ 064 647 4719

Thank you for joining
Thank you for joining the LHR Newsletter, we will be in touch soon