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Nomzamo residents slam Sisulu

Residents have lambasted the Human Settlements Minister for not addressing them in person.

A woman and her baby sit on a matress in the Nomzamo Community Centre on 4 June,2014 following their forced eviction. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Evicted Nomzamo residents say they are disappointed Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu did not address them in person.

Hundreds of informal settlers were left destitute on Monday after they were forcibly removed from a piece of privately-owned land in the area.

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) maintains it was granted a High Court order for the forced removals earlier this year.

It says the illegal squatters were timeously informed they needed to vacate the land meant for a project along the N2 highway.

Sisulu was scheduled to make an appearance in the area today but a ministry representative visited the area instead.

Residents say it would have been more reassuring to have heard plans for their future directly from the minister.

Although plans to provide alternative accommodation are still unclear, around 300 of the 700 evicted were allowed to take refuge at the Nomzamo Community Centre for the next five days.

Sisulu told Eyewitness News the department will set up an inquiry to investigate the procedures and steps that led to the evictions.

Sisulu and her deputy Zou Kota-Fredericks said both the City of Cape Town and Sanral could have handled the dispute and the evictions differently.

The ministers argued if the two parties couldn't find a solution, they should have elevated the dispute to the provincial and national governments.

Sisulu added that while government doesn't condone the illegal occupation of land, she's worried about the inhumane way in which women and children are being taken out of their homes during winter.

Meanwhile, Braam Hanekom from the People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty said the human rights of the Nomzamo families have been infringed upon.

"It's clear that the eviction orders were not read."

'GLARING ERRORS' IN INTERDICT

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said there are glaring errors with the court interdict obtained by Sanral.

The University of the Western Cape law professor believes the High Court interdict granted to remove the hundreds of informal settlers should not have been granted.

"It's against the Constitution which says you have to get a court order that takes into account all living circumstances before you actually order an eviction."

De Vos said while the interdict allows for the eviction of the Nomzamo residents, it may not have been correctly granted.

He said it has not yet been determined if the matter should be appealed or if it will even stand up in court against the Constitution.

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