South Africa: Residents Win Costs Order in Refugee Eviction Case

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Pretoria residents have been given a costs order in their application for refugees to be removed from an upmarket suburb where they were squatting.

The Pretoria High Court has ruled in favour of Waterkloof and Brooklyn residents in Pretoria by issuing a costs order against the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), South African Police Services (SAPS) and the City of Tshwane on Thursday 21 November.

The situation arose after protesting refugees refused to move from outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices in the upscale residential Waterkloof Road in Pretoria.

"The respondents raised submissions why none of them should be held liable [for the situation]," said Judge Natvarlal Ranchod, "I am not convinced."

The question of who should be held accountable was on the agenda when counsel for the respondents - the DHA, SAPS and the City of Tshwane - reported back to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria and were met with the counsel of the applicants (two Pretoria homeowner associations) demanding that a costs order be granted by the court.

Counsel for the homeowner associations argued that the costs order was necessary as all three of the respondents had been "obstructive" in trying to solve...

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