Court declares eviction of Nigel RDP occupiers unlawful

The occupiers demand alternative accommodation be provided

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Occupiers of RDP houses in Mackenzieville, Nigel, celebrate their court victory. Photo: Kimberly Mutandiro

On Friday, the Johannesburg High Court declared that the eviction on Tuesday of over 2,000 occupiers of RDP houses in Mackenzieville extension 2, Alra Park, Nigel, conducted was unlawful. This was because the eviction was carried out without the Sheriff’s presence.

Here is a timeline of events so far in this saga:

  • The occupiers, about 500 families who took possession of incomplete houses in a stalled RDP housing project, have lived in them since 2019.
  • In 2021 the court granted an eviction order against the occupiers.
  • It was only executed on Tuesday 28 February 2023. It was carried out by the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD), acting for the City and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements. Families were left on the street. They were not offered alternative accommodation and the Sheriff was absent.
  • Following this eviction, the court, also on Tuesday, granted a stay of the eviction, pending Friday’s hearing. Most families moved back into the houses.
  • On Friday 3 March, Judge Stuart Wilson ordered the City, Nigel police and the EMPD to restore the evicted persons to peaceful and undisturbed possession of the properties from which they were evicted.
  • The judge also suspended the original 2021 eviction order, pending a further hearing. The question of costs was reserved.

In their plea, the residents ask the City to state what accommodation it will make available, and for meaningful engagement in finding alternative accommodation.

The applicants also claim Prevention of Illegal Eviction from Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE) rights, which entitles them to eviction in a dignified manner and alternative accommodation.

The occupiers welcomed the court ruling.

Megan Webb said she lives with her three children and she was clueless about where to go with her children after they were evicted on Tuesday morning.

“I was especially worried about my six-year-old daughter because she was traumatised after what happened on Tuesday. She kept saying that l should take her to her aunt. But today, I will give her the good news when l get home,” she said.

TOPICS:  Housing

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