Marlboro residents take fight for land to court
An urgent application brought by Marlboro residents in Alexandra, north of Joburg to demand an end to their evictions, is set down for judgment on Friday
Since August 2, the Johannesburg Metro cops have been forcibly evicting squatters of Marlboro Gardens because they are occupying privately owned land.
However, residents say evictions are illigal as they were not informed on time about pending evictions nor a court order.
Nomsa Nyalunga, who has been staying in the area for the past three years, said she had nowhere to sleep.
She said for the past three days, she and her three kids were forced to sleep in an open space.
“My kids can't even attend school anymore because we have lost everything. They can't bath or eat because all our belongings have been taken away by the state,” she said.
Another affected dweller, Noxolo Matros, who has been staying with her four kids, said she was shocked by the evictions.
“There was no notice that we would be evicted and was shocked when I received a call from my child that our houses had been reduced to a pile of rubble.
“I left my workplace and rushed to my house when I got there, found a bulldozer levelling the houses. It was like a movie,” she said.
The move has left about 1,000 people, including children as young as one, homeless.
Most of the affected people said they were seeking shelter to protect themselves from the cold.
The community has enlisted services of the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) for the relief.
Louise du Plessis, attorney for the LHR, said the current evictions was a second attempt in two months.
“In another incident on 27 June, the notorious Red Ants raided the settlement in the early morning hours, again without a court order, but were unable to remove the residents after protests.
“This situation is shocking. The law is clear. There are countless court orders requiring a court order before an eviction can take place,” she said.
“This blatant disregard for what the courts have repeatedly said is especially worrying considering JMPD is tasked with upholding the law.”
Metro Police spokeswpman, Supt Edna Mamonyane said it was their responsibility to enforce by laws of the city.
“We can't allow people to just wake up and occupy privately owned land,” she said.