17 April 2020 – Press Release: Western Cape High Court affirms Empolweni residents’ right to stay on land

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Western Cape High Court affirms Empolweni residents’ right to stay on land

17 April, 2020

CAPE TOWN – The Legal Resources Centre welcomes today’s order by the Western Cape High Court that the City of Cape Town’s evictions of people from, and the demolition of their homes, in Empolweni, Makhaza are unlawful and undermine lockdown regulations.

The court has also ordered the return of all building material confiscated by the city in carrying out the demolitions that took place on the 9th and 11th April to Empolweni residents by 12PM on Monday, 20th April. The residents – the 49 households that served as applicants in this matter – were further given permission to rebuild their homes by the court.

I am relieved that we no longer have to sleep outside in the cold with our children. We will finally have a chance to get proper sleep. Our building materials are coming back and we can protect ourselves from the CoVid-19 virus. Now we can take care of our families and be able to home-school our children while schools remain closed. I wish basic services such as toilets and water could also be provided to us soon.” said Empolweni community Leader, Nozakuthini Batyi.

For more information, please contact:

Attorney of Record: Anneline Turpin and Khensani Motileni via email on anneline@lrc.org.za / khensani@lrc.org.za.

About the Legal Resources Centre

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) is committed to a fully democratic society based on the principles of substantive equality. It seeks to ensure that the principles, rights and responsibilities enshrined in our Constitution are respected, promoted, protected and fulfilled. Since 1979, the LRC has functioned as an independent, public interest law clinic which provides free legal services to poor, vulnerable and marginalised individuals and communities in South Africa.