“This is why we have immediately suspended four officers while the matter is investigated without delay. As the mayor of this city, I want to acknowledge that Mr Qholani’s dignity was impaired and I am truly sorry for what he experienced.”
But Plato said the problem of illegal land invasions, accompanied by misinformation on social media, should not be forgotten.
“While evictions are not permitted under the lockdown, the courts, as well as the national minister of human settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, have made it clear that municipalities across SA have a duty to prevent illegal land invasions,” he said. “This particular area in Khayelitsha was illegally invaded during the first weeks of the national lockdown and the city responded to requests from the local community to remove the illegally erected structures. The city-owned land has been earmarked for the installation of services for the surrounding community.
“A local NGO and legal support structure took the city to court to prevent the removal of the illegal structures set up during a land invasion. The judge ruled that while the city had not been in breach of any regulations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he would allow the 49 structures that had already been erected to remain there temporarily during the lockdown.