South Africa: MEC Tertuis Simmers Pleased With Submissions in Court Case On Legality of Halting Illegal Invasions

The Cape Town Anti-land Invasion Unit demolishes shacks in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay (file photo).
press release

Western Cape Government concludes submissions in court case on legality of halting illegal invasions when in progress

Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers says he is pleased with the submissions made by the Western Cape Government's (WCG) Counsel in relation to part B of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) litigation against the City of Cape Town in respect of the rights of landowners to stop an illegal land invasion in progress.

Some of the submissions made between yesterday and this morning, included that the common law remedy of counter-spoliation, which recognises an owner's right to immediately retake possession of unlawfully occupied property, without approaching a court first, is both constitutional and necessary.

Further to this, Counsel pointed out that the EFF and SAHRC's argument that the state has no right to do this while an invasion is in progress, would in effect render the state toothless to protect public land, which it is holding for public good and future generations.

"Given that replies and closing arguments are happening today, we are confident that we've delivered strong arguments and that the court will see how important this remedy is as part of our obligation as the State to deliver services, which includes the provision of equitable housing opportunities," added Simmers.

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