CT land claimants get legal aid

Khoisan activists who have occupied District Six flats have now been given a legal representative.

A group invaded the District Six housing project. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A group of Khoisan activists who have invaded a block of flats in District Six now have legal help in their court battle with government.

About 60 people, claiming to be descendants of a Khoisan clan, have been living in the modern units illegally since Saturday.

The Rural Development and Land Reform Department has won an interim court order to evict them.

The matter was heard again in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday morning.

The courtroom was packed with Khoisan activists, some of them wearing animal print hats and vests.

Court proceedings centred on whether government would be granted a final order to evict the group.

But things got off to a slow start with the judge learning the group had been denied legal aid.

The activists' consulted amongst themselves before the judge eventually appointed an advocate to help with their case.

On Wednesday many started moving into the units and putting up curtains.

Resident Carin-Lee Smith said she was a descendant of the Khoisan and refused to leave.

"If they are going to push us out, they're going to have to literally take us off this property. It's going to take an army and a half to get me off this property. This is rightfully our land."

Meanwhile, Tania Keinhans from the Western Cape Khoisan Reference Group said they expected to be evicted on Tuesday but that never happened.