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Small victory for evictees: City of CT ordered not to evict without court order

The court on Tuesday granted an interim order brought by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) following several controversial evictions of late.

A screengrab from a video taken on 1 July 2020 in which Cape Town law enforcement officials evict a naked man from his Empolweni home in Khayelitsha.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court has ruled the City of Cape Town can't evict anyone or demolish dwellings, without a court order while the state of disaster is in place.

The court on Tuesday granted an interim order brought by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) following several controversial evictions of late.

One which sparked anger was the eviction of a man, filmed being hauled from his shack while he was naked.

The High Court has ruled the City, its land invasion unit or any private contractors are interdicted from evicting people or demolishing any shacks whether occupied or not while the state of disaster is in place, unless they have a court order.

In the judgment, the court stated if City authorities proceed with evictions legally, they must be done in a way that protects the dignity of those being evicted.

Authorities are also prohibited from using excessive force or destroying or confiscating material which belong to evictees.

Mayor Dan Plato said the City would appeal the ruling.

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