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Naked man traumatised after ‘dignity dragged through the mud’ in eviction

Rebuilding after a fire in a Khayelitsha informal settlement, file image.
Rebuilding after a fire in a Khayelitsha informal settlement, file image.
Image: Vincent Lali

A Cape Town man who was dragged naked out of his shack in Khayelitsha by law enforcement officers has been left traumatised by the ordeal.

“I have spoken to him this morning and he is still a bit traumatised after the incident. He is unhappy because his dignity has been dragged through the mud. It’s inhumane to do such an act and it’s even worse now because we are in the peak of the lockdown,” EFF councillor Mbulelo Dwane said on Thursday morning.

Dwane said they had also taken the man to seek medical attention.

A video of Wednesday's eviction showing members of the city's anti-land invasion unit removing the naked man from his shack has gone viral.

There is a scuffle as the man tries to make his way back into his shack, with four or five officials blocking his path and some pushing him to the ground.

As he tries to get back into the shack, other members of the team dismantle the front portion of the shack, which consists of the door and window. The members continue to dismantle the shack while the man sits on the bed.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, the city said it was in the process of suspending the law enforcement officers involved.

Dwane said the people living in the informal settlement in Khayelitsha had been living there for “quite a while”.

Dwane said they will be marching against the “inhumane treatment received by the community of the informal settlement”.

Early on Thursday morning, housing activists gathered outside the residence of Human Settlements mayoral committee member Malusi Booi.

City of Cape Town executive director of safety and security Richard Bosman said there had also been a protest outside the house of safety and security official JP Smith.

“The protest was definitely in reaction to yesterday’s incident in Khayelitsha. There was a police presence on the scene and the protesters have been dispersed.”

National minister of human settlements, water and sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu has condemned the “distasteful” eviction of the Khayelitsha man.

“While we are yet to be appraised of the exact details of what led to what we have seen on various media platforms, we wish to condemn with the strongest terms an act which sought to degrade an individual like what we have witnessed. The act is inhumane and has no place in our democratic SA,” said Sisulu.

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