The Western Cape High Court has ruled that the eviction of 46 homeless people in District Six last month was unlawful.
It relates to an incident on 19 September 2021, wherein the City reportedly confiscated the goods of dozens of homeless who set up camp on Sydney Street in District 6. Represented by activist group Ndifuna Ukwazi, the group took the matter to court.
On Thursday, Judge Rosheni Allie heard the matter on an urgent basis and found that the City acted unlawfully in erms of section 26(3) of the Constitution and the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 (PIE Act).
The Court ordered the City to return all the homeless people’s belongings and tent structures within five days or pay damages of R1 700 as compensation.
Ndifundi Ukwasi says the judgment confirms that the PIE Act applies to street-based occupiers, that their tents and habitable structures are their homes, and that the City must obtain a court order when it seeks to evict them.
The City says it plans to appeal the judgement.