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ConCourt to hear Bapsfontein relocation case

2014-08-12 07:19

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will on Tuesday hear arguments on why the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality should be found in contempt of court for not complying with a court order.

Friend of the court, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA, contends that the municipality should be found in contempt of court.

It also contends that the mayor and municipal manager should be joined in the proceedings and that the mayor and municipal manager should explain why the municipality has failed to comply with the order.

On 6 December 2011, the Constitutional Court held that the municipality had unlawfully evicted and relocated the occupiers of Bapsfontein informal settlement.

The court ordered the municipality to find land in the Bapsfontein area for the applicants, the meaningfully engage with the applicants when alternative land was found and to report to the court detailing the steps taken.

Before the first report was filed by the municipality, the applicants split into two groups, the Mayfield community and the N12 Highway Park community.

The Mayfield community was unhappy with the findings of the report because they wanted to be as close as possible to their original location.

However, the N12 community was satisfied and ready to be relocated.

In December 2012, an agreement on the relocation of the N12 community was reached, but they have not been relocated yet.

Address changed

On 21 November 2013, the Constitutional Court issued directions that the municipality file a second report on the progress of the relocation of the N12 community. However, the municipality did not comply.

In March this year, the court ordered the municipality to submit a progress report by 14 April , but no response was received.

The court issued further directions to the municipality to show cause as the why it should not be found in contempt of court, on 15 May.

In court papers, the municipality submitted that it could not relocate the N12 community without further directions from the court ordering it to do so.

It said that it was not able to respond to the court order and directions because it did not receive them when its attorney's fax number and e-mail address changed.

The case will be heard at 10:00.

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