Public hearings into the eviction of illegal shack dwellers in Lwandle, Cape Town are expected to continue into their second week on Monday.
During the first week of hearings, Cape Town city mayor Patricia de Lille said that the City was not involved in the eviction of 849 families from Sanral-owned land in Lwandle on June 2 and 3.
“The City played no direct role in the eviction process itself,” De Lille said in a written submission to the commission.
She said the eviction — in which about 200 dwellings were demolished or set alight — had been carried out by the Sheriff of the High Court and police.
She also revealed that there had been a previous eviction in February on the land owned by the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).
This had occurred after Sanral obtained an interdict in January to prevent land invasions.
The June evictions came about after the land was subsequently re-occupied.
The inquiry also heard that those evicted would be moved back to the land from which they were evicted; as the other piece of land – also owned by Sanral – to which they had been relocated, had proved inadequate.
Last week, Western Cape premier Helen Zille lashed out at the commission; saying it had all the hallmarks of a “political hit squad” – a claim refuted by the housing ministry.
The Lwandle inquiry has been tasked with establishing the circumstances surrounding the eviction.
Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is to be presented with the commission’s findings and recommendations. SAPA