PRESS STATEMENT | Muldersdrift Residents Protest A Year In ‘Temporary Accommodation’ As Lawyers For Human Rights Files For Contempt of Court

Date: 17/07/2023

On Tuesday the 18th of July residents of Tilly’s Farm, Muldersdrift will be protesting outside the Country Gardens Estate luxury development of MAXXLiving. The same afternoon, Lawyers for Human Rights will be in the Land Claims Court arguing that the company and its director Mr Arthur Bezuidenhout are in contempt of court.

On the 5th of July last year, the homes of the Tilly’s Farm residents were unlawfully demolished by MAXXLiving to clear the land for their Country Gardens Estate. This was despite the residents having the rights to remain in their homes under the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA).

On the 28th of July 2022, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) obtained a court order requiring MAXXLiving to provide temporary accommodation for the residents and rebuild their demolished homes within 90 days. To date, MAXXLiving has yet to even provide a plan for rebuilding the demolished homes, let alone start construction. The residents have been living in squalid temporary housing for a year.

When it became apparent that MAXXLiving was not abiding by the court order, LHR instituted contempt of court proceedings which go to trial on the 18th of July.

Frustrated by the continual and changing excuses by MAXXLiving, the residents will be holding a protest outside the company’s site offices at the corner of the R114 and Marina Street, Muldersdrift from 8am, ahead of the court case which is scheduled for 2pm that afternoon.

Margaret Mokgomola, spokesperson for the residents, said: “We were made homeless and left in shacks by MAXXLiving. The court said that our homes must be re-built within three months, but we have been suffering for over a year and there is no end in sight. The 18th of July is Mandela Day, this is not what Mandela wanted! Our rights are being ignored.”

David Dickinson at LHR said: “The rule of law is central to our democracy. Nobody should make people homeless unlawfully and then ignore a court order. It is for this reason that LHR has brought contempt of court proceedings against MAXXLiving and its director. At the end of the day, we want the residents’ homes re-built as the law requires.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the protest and to view the current temporary accommodation that the residents have been living in for over a year by appointment with Mrs Mokgomola. The matter will he heard by the Honourable Judge Spilg.

For further information:

  • Mrs Margaret Mokgomola (Residents’ Spokesperson): 078 697 4054
  • David Dickinson (LHR): 082 789 1265
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