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Bulelani Qholani wants dignity back after being dragged naked from home

Qholani said that his body is still in pain after Cape Town law enforcement officers manhandled him.

Bulelani Qholani (the man removed from his home naked) says he is still in pain after City of Cape Town law enforcement officers manhandled him. He said he was treated as if he had no human rights.  Picture: Jarita Kassen/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The man at the center of an eviction scandal in Khayelitsha said that he wanted his dignity back.

In a video shared widely, law enforcement officers were seen dragging a naked Bulelani Qholani from his home in the Empolweni settlement.

Three other structures were also demolished.

The municipality said that the structure was illegally erected in city-owned land.

Qholani (28) was in the bath when law enforcement officers descended on his home.

He said that officers dragged him out of his home before he was able to put on any clothing.

"Must go! Get out! Get out! Then he's fighting me, he's torturing me."

Qholani said that his body is still in pain after officers manhandled him.

Four officers involved in the operation have been suspended.

He said that he was treated as if he had no human rights.

"Law enforcement and City of Cape Town treated me like a dog. Where is my equal rights?"

He has no home for his partner and children.

"Where must you stay in the City of Cape Town. Give me my house."

DIGNITY IMPAIRED

Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato has welcomed the suspension of law enforcement officers involved in the forced removal of a naked man in Khayelitsha.

Angry residents on Thursday marched to the Harare Police Station in Khayelitsha demanding answers for the incident in which Qholani was dragged out of his shack while he was naked in a bath.

The structure, where he lived with his partner and daughter, was then demolished.

Mayor Plato said that having watched the video and seeing the shameful circumstances which Bulelani Qholani was subjected to, he wanted to make it clear this was not the type of conduct that the city tolerated.

He said that while an investigation into the conduct of the law enforcement officers continued, as mayor he wanted to acknowledge that Qholani's dignity was impaired.

Plato said that he's truly sorry for what Qholani had experienced.

The mayor added that the city had responded to requests from the residents to remove the illegally erected structures, and the city-owned land had been earmarked for services for the surrounding community.

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