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Lawyer takes legal action against CoCT for homeless fines

Lucien Lewin is representing seven homeless people who were fined in accordance with a controversial by-law.

The homeless have found shelter on the open District Six land near Cape Town. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town lawyer is taking legal action against the City of Cape Town for fining homeless people.

The city's accused of violating a court order after it agreed to stop the fines against people living on the streets.

The case will be heading to court on Thursday.

If the court finds in favour of the applicants, the mayor and other senior officials could be given a 30 day suspended sentence.

The clampdown came as winter reached its peak and cold and rainy conditions looked set to continue.

Lucien Lewin is representing seven homeless people who were fined in accordance with a controversial by-law.

Two months ago, the South African Human Rights Commission took the City of Cape Town to task over its policy on the homeless.

The city defended its policy, saying it was not being heartless.

Lewin said the municipality was in contempt of court: “The first thing we asked for is for the city to suspend prosecuting the homeless people who have been fined by the city, already pending the outcome of this application.”

Lewin added: “The city agreed to not interfere or confiscate the personal property of the seven applicants and any other homeless people in the City of Cape Town.”

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