Nomzamo eviction inquiry stalls

Police were set to give their account amid accusations of police brutality during evictions.

FILE: The Nomzamo Commission of Inquiry.  Picture: Siyabonga/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Nomzamo Commission of Inquiry chairperson Advocate Denzil Potgieter today adjourned the hearing because police had failed to provide crucial evidence.

The inquiry was set up by the National Human Settlements Department to probe the forced removal of hundreds of informal settlers from privately-owned land near Strand in June.

The South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral), the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government have all deflected the blame for the violent evictions of the Nomzamo community.

Hundreds of families were left destitute when their shacks were torn down by police and law enforcement officials on 2 and 3 June.

They were forcibly removed from a piece of privately-owned land in the area.

Sanral maintained it was granted a High Court order for the forced removals.

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

Police were today expected to give their side of the story amid accusations of police brutality during the chaotic evictions.

But the process stalled when the commission revealed police had not provided critical evidence.

This included necessary documents and extensive video footage taken during the evictions.

Potgieter has accused police of giving the commission the 'run around' and postponed police testimony until later this month.

An advocate representing the police told the inquiry the officers' conduct during the evictions was in line with their mandate to uphold the law.