PRESS STATEMENT | Lawyers for Human Rights tackle developer that illegally bulldozed homes

Date: 26/07/2022

Today Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) will be at the Land Claims Court bringing an application to have MAXXLiving, a multinational property developer, rebuild the homes of more than 30 residents it destroyed during an illegal eviction on 5 July this year.

The site, known locally as Tilly’s Farm, is located in Muldersdrift. The developer is constructing what they have described as a ‘mega project’ of luxury homes. Because the land is agricultural the occupiers, who were given permission to reside on the land by previous owners, are protected by the Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 (ESTA). This means that they can only be evicted with a court order and that alternative accommodation must be provided for them.

Despite this, MAXXLiving demolished some 15 brick-built structures in which the occupants were living without warning. A disturbing aspect of this demolition/eviction was that the developer and police officers on site claimed that there was a court order. There was no court order and neither was the sheriff present – a legal requirement when any eviction takes place.

Since then, the occupiers have been camped out in the rubble of their homes, refusing to leave until justice is served. LHR is representing the occupants in the case Margaret Mokgomolo and Others vs MAXXLiving (PTY) LTD and Others (LCC 100/2022) and will be asking the court that the developer rebuild their homes. LHR also points out that under Section 23 of ESTA, as well as the common law crime of damage to property, the developer’s actions were not only unlawful but illegal.

David Dickinson at LHR’s Land and Housing Programme said; “While we welcome foreign investors, they must respect the rights of all South Africans. It is unacceptable that poor people are expected to sacrifice so that others can profit. We hope that the court will provide a just and equitable ruling for the residents of Tilly’s Farm.”

Support for this case was generously provided by the Ford Foundation.

For more information contact:

Louise du Plessis, Managing Attorney of the LHR Land and Housing Programme


Cell: 082 346 0744

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