Cape Town – The City is considering approaching the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) after it was dealt another blow in the Western Cape High Court yesterday, which dismissed with costs its application challenging an interdict that prohibits it from conducting demolitions without a court order.
The SA Human Rights Commission had in recent weeks initiated court proceedings against the City to interdict it from preventing unlawful land occupations, and the court had ruled in their favour.
The City then applied for leave to appeal the judgment, and its application was yesterday dismissed.
“It is with great disappointment that I note the judgment handed down by Judges Shehnaz Meer and Rosheni Allie in dismissing the City of Cape Town’s application for leave to appeal the harmful ruling that has allowed unlawful occupations to take place unchecked in our city,” mayor Dan Plato said.
“The right to counter-spoliate is vital to the City’s land protection efforts as time is often of the essence in removing unoccupied structures during land invasions without a court order in accordance with established common law, especially given what we know about the organised nature of invasions.”
The Legal Resources Centre said the court maintained its position and most importantly, held the view that another court would not reach a decision different to that which it has reached.
“On August 25, the court ruled in favour of our clients, granting an interim interdict against evictions and demolitions by the City during the current national state of disaster.
“The court further ruled that in the event that the City wishes to carry on with evictions, it must do so with the necessary court order and evictions must be carried out in a manner that is lawful, respects and upholds the dignity of evictees.
’’SAPS were instructed by the court that in their presence during City evictions, they have to ensure that evictions are done lawfully and in line with the constitution.”