Tag

Eviction attorney Archives | Eviction Lawyers South Africa

Glen Marikana residents ready for their first day of relocation

By | Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders, Evictions

Current structures that will be left behind after the relocation will be destroyed by the City.

eviction notice eviction lawyers

Residents of Glen Marikana Informal Settlement will be relocated to a new site in Putfontein as from today [Monday, 24 Feb].

This follows an eviction order granted by the Johannesburg High Court in November 2018, instructing the City of Ekurhuleni to seek an alternative residential site for the close to 3 000 residents who had illegally occupied private land on Dann Road in Glen Marais since 2017.

Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Human Settlements, Clr Lesiba Mpya, announced the relocation date during a meeting with the affected households recently.

“Our role as a responsible government is to comply with the court order and move our people to a safe and secure place. We are currently engaged in a verification process to ensure that every occupant’s name is the one that appears in the court order,” Mpya  said.

The MMC also said work began in earnest in reblocking the new site so that when the new occupants arrive, they have access roads and stand pipes, including ablution facilities.

“We will provide transportation for the residents to make sure they settle well at their new site which they would call home,” he said.

Current structures that will be left behind after the relocation will be destroyed by the City.

Samuel Motshali, one of those affected dwellers, said: “I am originally from Limpopo and I have been here for the past three years after losing my job and couldn’t afford to pay rent.”

Community leader Kwena Monama said people would start packing their belonging on Saturday in readiness for the relocation on Monday.

“We are constantly communicating with the MMC’s office and we are ready to be moved to our new site,” he said.

Reprinted from Kempton Express – 2020-02-24. Emphasis/links by SD Law.

If you need help with an eviction matter…

We are eviction lawyers in Cape Town and Johannesburg. We act for both landlords and tenants and uphold the rights of each to a fair and satisfactory tenancy. If you are a landlord, we will make sure any eviction you undertake is fair and lawful. If you are a tenant and facing an unfair eviction, we will defend your rights. Contact Simon at Cape Town Eviction Attorneys on 086 099 5146 or email sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za.

Further reading:

Wentworth residents protest in defence of woman’s forced removal

By | Uncategorized

Durban – A group of residents living in the south Durban township of Wentworth burnt tyres and debris on the road in a form of protest following an apparent eviction of a woman and her family at a block of flats on Friday.

At this stage, it is alleged that the woman and her family moved into the apartment of a previous resident who recently passed away.

When security and local authorities arrived to evict the woman, residents jumped to her defence.

They then set tyres alight, blocking off part of Austerville Drive and Goede Hoop Street.

“About 100 community members embarked in a protest action after an elderly woman was evicted  by the Sheriff of the Court after she occupied the flat illegally,” Provincial police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said

“They blockaded the Austerville Drive with burning tyres and rubble. The road has been cleared and police are monitoring,” Gwala said.

Residents have expressed their anger over the woman’s apparent forced removal. They are demanding that she be allowed to move into the flat as she has been living in the area for many years.

Reprinted from the Mercury News – 2020-02-21. Emphasis/links by SD Law.

If you need help with an eviction matter…

We are eviction lawyers in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and we believe the landlord-tenant relationship should be built on trust. We act for both landlords and tenants and uphold the rights of each to a fair and satisfactory tenancy. Make sure any eviction you undertake is fair and lawful. Contact Simon at Cape Town Eviction Attorneys on 086 099 5146 or email sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za.

Further reading:

 

Laws must be adapted to SA’s current reality

By | constitutional law, Evictions, Miscellaneous

Do apartheid-era laws infringe our constitutional rights? An interesting view on the contradictions that exist in South African law. From the Mail & Guardian.

On a few occasions, Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, has addressed the crisis of landlessness in ways that some argue encourages land grabs. For others, it speaks to the urgent need for land reform.

This week, these utterances formed the background of a hearing in the Constitutional Court between the EFF and Malema on one side, and the minister of justice and constitutional development and the national director of public prosecutions on the other.

Before the court was an application for leave to appeal against a decision of the high court on the constitutionality of section 18 (2)(b) of the Riotous Assemblies Act 17 of 1956 and section 1 of the Trespass Act 6 of 1959.

The two pieces of apartheid legislation were enacted when the majority of the country were defined, by law, as subjects and not citizens. Black people could not own property and their agitation for rights and recognition was criminalised. By design, apartheid systematically disenfranchised black people, relegating generations to come into poverty.

The negative effects of these laws are clearly illustrated in the case of the State v Zwane. The matter involved Rachel Zwane, who has lived with her daughters and grandchildren in a small house in Ennerdale, Johannesburg, which she bought with the assistance of a mortgage bond in 2001.

In 2008, when Zwane lost her job because her employer of 20 years ceased trading, she struggled to keep up with her mortgage bond payments and fell into arrears. With no proper notice, the bank sold her home in execution and the new owner of the property obtained a default eviction order against her.

Zwane only learned of the eviction in May 2012 when she and her family were forcibly removed from their home and left on the street with nowhere to go. The family re-entered the property after one of Zwane’s grandchildren climbed back into the house though a broken window to open the front door from inside.

It was only in May 2015 that Zwane had to make her first appearance for the criminal charges of housebreaking and trespass for which she was found guilty.

Zwane sought leave to appeal her conviction on the grounds that the Trespass Act did not apply to those who unlawfully occupy their homes because the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 (the PIE Act) protects unlawful occupiers from being evicted from their homes if the eviction will render them homeless. But the high court found that the Trespass Act criminalises the occupation of a home once an eviction order has been obtained. Yet section 1(1) of the Trespass Act does not refer to a court order.

South Africa acknowledges the disparities of the past and, through the PIE Act, seeks to address the reality that many people have been forced to unlawfully occupy land and property out of desperation driven by poverty rather than malice. This is the reality for Zwane, who once owned her home. It is also the reality for at least 1.25-million households who live in informal settlements. The incorrect response to this reality would be criminalisation.

The co-existence of the Trespass Act and the PIE Act presents a clear example of how historical disparities cut through legislation in conflict with efforts to address these very disparities.

Section 18(2)(b) of the Riotous Assemblies Act makes criminalisation possible for incitement to commit any offence. Anyone who is considered to incite an offence can be punished as if they committed the offence themselves, whether or not the offence occurred.

The danger of this clause is its infringement on the right to freedom of expression, which is a critical part of political expression. This right includes the “freedom to receive and impart information or ideas”, freedom of the press, as well as academic and creative freedoms. The Constitution is clear about the kinds of expressions that are not protected, such as incitement of violence, advocacy of hate on the basis of race, religion and gender, among others.

The fact that political action through civil disobedience is sometimes in breach of the law means that organisers, whether participants or not, can be criminalised for incitement. Advocating for people to not pay e-tolls or even providing advice to sex workers (a profession that is still criminalised in South Africa) could be characterised as incitement.

To criminalise the incitement of violent crimes or crimes that harm others is both reasonable and necessary, but the Riotous Assemblies Act contains no such limitation. Should people who encourage a demonstration that temporarily involves trespassing for the purposes of symbolically illustrating the crisis of inequality be culpable of incitement on the grounds that the protest would violate laws against trespassing? Should the gender activist who calls for a naked protest against rape culture be punished for incitement on the grounds that the protest would violate laws against public indecency? Are there other, more appropriate and better targeted ways of responding to such actions or is criminalisation the only response?

The health and robustness of a democracy is related to its ability to engender and tolerate the contestation of ideas. Criminalisation is, at best, a blunt tool and, at worst, a dangerous one. Section 18(2)(b) of the Riotous Assemblies Act and its broadness can be misused to unjustifiably limit free speech and serve as a deterrent for political action.

Under apartheid, this law was introduced to give the state broad and sweeping powers to target those it deemed to pose a threat to public peace and, by extension, the status quo. It was used to imprison and, in some cases, sentence political leaders to death. Although this history does not in and of itself invalidate the Riotous Assemblies or the Trespass acts, their purposes under apartheid and their purposes today must be interrogated.

The effects and purposes of the two Acts under apartheid does not miraculously transform because it is applied by a new regime. Zwane’s story shows how a person entitled to both constitutional and legislative protections can still be criminalised under the Trespass Act and have the high court confirm their criminalisation. Similarly, we see how the Riotous Assemblies Act has, contained in it, an excessive broadness that, when weighed in the balancing of rights, could lead to an infringement on the constitutional freedoms of assembly and expression. Both are examples of areas in which our legislation must be brought in line with our current dispensation and to keep pace with current realities.

Thato Masiangoako is a researcher with the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa

Reprinted from the Mail &  Guardian – 2020-02-21

Contact us today

SD Law is a firm of Cape Town and Johannesburg attorneys with a deep commitment to constitutional law. We are also eviction lawyers. If you feel your constitutional rights have been infringed in any way, contact Simon on 086 099 5146 or email sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za for a confidential discussion.

Further reading: