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City of Cape Town accused of taking homeless people’s belongings

City of Cape Town accused of taking homeless people’s belongings

Reprinted from ENCA – 2021-08-30

CAPE TOWN – Homeless people in Cape Town have more to lose than just their make-shift shelters under the municipality’s by-laws.

The City has been accused of confiscating the personal possessions of homeless people.

One example is that of a woman who has had her life-saving ARV’s allegedly confiscated by law enforcement officers.

Shaun Herbert, who lives in Greenpoint, said he returned from shopping to find law enforcement at his tent.

“I asked my brother what was going on. He said law enforcement said we must take out our stuff, they’re going to confiscate our tents.

“I thought it was a joke. I left my stuff inside, I’ve got a big tent, we made it flat and then this officer came to me and said we have to take out all your belongings because we’re confiscating your tent. So I said, “why is this” so he said they’ve got an eviction order against us,” Herbert said.

“I asked him, where is the eviction order and he said I mustn’t worry about it, everybody just wants us away [from] here.”

Herbert said some of the tents were returned but the personal belongings have not been returned yet.

“All of us don’t want to be on the streets, we want to have normal lives. We also would like to take a hot bath, people don’t understand that we’ve got to wash in cold water, we’ve got to walk miles to get water because the City Council doesn’t allow us to take water [from] public toilets,” he said.

“We’ve got no other alternative. We want lives, we want jobs, we want to be recognised as people again. None of us have asked for this to happen.”

For further information

Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a Cape Town law firm of specialist eviction lawyers, now operating in Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our eviction attorneys on 086 099 5146 or if you need advice on the eviction process or if you are facing unlawful eviction.

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