The Western Cape High Court has granted a final eviction order against the residents of a property in Belhar that has become known as “The Little House on the Prairie”.
This is a significant victory in the City of Cape Town’s fight against drugs and drug dealing, and brings to an end an extended legal battle that began several years ago. The occupants must now vacate the property by 30 April 2013.
“The City has taken a tough stance against the gangsterism and illegal activities being conducted at this property. The court’s ruling allows us to draw a line under almost a decade’s legal wrangling to expel the criminal gang activity and drugs from this City-owned property,” says Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
In dismissing the appeal against the eviction order, the Western Cape High Court has found that the City of Cape Town followed due legal process at all stages, and that there was no reason to deny the eviction order.
The Court stated that:
- The City’s arguments stating that illegal activities had been conducted at the property were valid
- It would be manifestly unfair for the City to keep the appellants in the property for which they did not qualify, in terms of the housing allocation process
- There is no evidence of children, elderly people or disabled people living at the premises
- The City complied with the provisions of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act
The Court dismissed the appeal against the eviction order, and ordered that the appellant cover the costs incurred by the City in defending its position.
“The City is currently exploring a number of possibilities for the plot, including the establishment of a multi-purpose Safety and Security facility. It is envisioned that whatever the City creates there, will stand as a symbol of our victory over gang violence and drugs in the area,” says Alderman Smith.