General Council of the Bar Statement on Cato Crest
GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE BAR OF SOUTH AFRICA
The General Council of the Bar notes with concern the recent evictions of over 100 informal settlers at Cato Crest in Durban. Over the past two weeks, the residents of the settlement have been evicted and left homeless three times by the Durban Municipality's land invasion unit.
The residents have urgently approached the High Court on no less than five occasions, claiming that their eviction was unlawful. They have obtained three interim court interdicts, restraining the Durban Municipality from evicting them again without a court order, and have subsequently rebuilt their homes.
However, on each occasion the Municipality's land invasion unit has returned to the settlement and destroyed the residents' homes once again.
The GCB notes reports that the residents were driven to occupy land at Cato Crest earlier this year after they were excluded from a project intended to provide housing to them and others in a nearby informal settlement.
The GCB emphasises that Section 26 of the Constitution entrenches the right of access to adequate housing and the right of protection from arbitrary eviction. It is a matter of grave concern that, despite their repeated attempts to follow due process of law in enforcing their constitutional rights, the residents, including many women and children, have been left homeless and destitute.
M SEMENYA SC CHAIRMAN 23 September 2013
No House! No Land! No Vote!