City of Cape Town khayelitsha evictions land invasions

Photo: Twitter screenshot

‘It was an illegal invasion’: City Of Cape Town reacts to eviction video

The City of Cape Town deny their officers broke the law with an illegal ‘eviction’ on Wednesday, after a shocking video was shared online.

City of Cape Town khayelitsha evictions land invasions

Photo: Twitter screenshot

The City of Cape Town has welcomed the suspension of four police officers who were filmed dragging a naked man from his home in Khayelitsha, as they carried out a forceful eviction. However, the sympathy of political officials only stretches so far, and they have backed the law enforcement team for ‘tackling illegal land invasions’.

Khayelitsha man ‘pulled from his house while naked’

The humiliating clip impairs the dignity of Bulelani Qholani, who is pulled from pillar to post by over-zealous cops. An investigation has been sanctioned, with an official apology issued to the victim – which is perhaps more than he could have expected if this incident wasn’t captured on camera.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato said that his department ‘would not tolerate’ the conduct exhibit by the aggresive officials going forward. However, he then defended the force for their attempts to prevent ‘illegal land invasions’. Plato denies that this was an eviction, and such acts are banned during lockdown.

City of Cape Town response to eviction video

According to the Mayor, the site has been bombarded by ‘land grab attempts’ since April:

  • The land where these evictions took place has been earmarked for community development.
  • The local populace has raised several complaints about the ‘illegal structures’ that had been built.
  • Attempts to build on the privately-owned land have taken place ‘almost daily’, so says Dan Plato.

Illegal land invasion, or heartless eviction?

The mayor’s statement backs the police to continue opposing illegal land invasions, so long as they are done ‘responsibly’.

“These were shameful circumstances Bulelani Qholani was subjected to. The City of Cape Town does not tolerate this sort of conduct. I am truly sorry for what he experienced. But this particular area in Khayelitsha has been illegally invaded ever since the first few weeks of lockdown.”

“Our officers have a responsibility to conduct themselves with professionalism and to respect our residents at all times. But at the same time, our officers need to know that if they carry out their duties to the letter of the law, they will have the full support of the administration and law-abiding local residents.”

Dan Plato
  • You can read the full statement from the City of Cape Town here