South Africa: Judge Decries City of Cape Town's 'Deplorable and Inhumane' Demolition of Home

analysis

The judgment handed down in favour of a Hangberg resident in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday could serve as a benchmark for how the court deals with future evictions or demolitions ordered by the City of Cape Town.

On Wednesday 15 July, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe ordered in the matter of Hangberg resident Ginola Phillips and the City of Cape Town and Mayor Dan Plato that they must rebuild his Wendy house within 48 hours of the order.

His Wendy house, in Karbonkel Road, was torn down twice - initially on 11 June by the Anti-Land Invasion Unit (ALIU) and again on Friday 19 June.

Phillips was alerted by community members that his structure was being demolished in the first round. He could not stop the ALIU in its tracks and later rebuilt his Wendy house. But on Friday 19 June officials of the city council again arrived at his home, and demolished it for the second time.

Reading out an eight-page judgment, Salie-Hlophe described the City's action as deplorable and inhumane, adding the demolition was heartless and done with scant regard for Phillips' safety, security and health, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Phillips' urgent application was...

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