Sanral assured court order was valid - police

Cape Town - Sanral's lawyers were sure their court order allowed them to remove people and structures off land in Lwandle, Cape Town, an inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Lucas, who was the police's operational commander for removals on 2 June, said he had raised his concerns with Fiona Bester, a lawyer for the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).

"I personally had a lot of concerns and every time the legal person from Sanral assured me that this order was on the highest level approved," he testified at the inquiry into the removals.

"I had no reason at all to believe that this was not a valid court order. I acted bona fide with all the relevant role players."

Lucas said he would have been held in contempt of the Western Cape High Court if he had not given effect to certain things stated in the interim order, granted on 24 January.

The police insisted their role was to help the sheriff of the court in executing the court order and primarily, to uphold public order.

The inquiry was set up by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to probe the removals of people and structures from the Sanral reserve on 2 June and 3 June.

Commission chairperson Advocate Denzil Potgieter had gone through the court order with Advocate Ncumisa Mayosi, instructed by the state attorney on behalf of the SA Police Service.

They had differed in their interpretation of the order.

Potgieter said the order only allowed Sanral to stop people trying to invade the property in the interim, not to evict people already on the land.

To get rid of those with shacks on the land, proper eviction procedures had to be followed, he said.

Lucas said he faxed the order to the police's legal department so they could scrutinise it, but could not provide the name of the person who signed it off.

Read more on: police cape town housing
Jamill Ahmed 2014-08-26 05:57:34 PM
To remove some ones last bits like this is inhumane that all they have you cowards
mmmmTim 2014-08-26 06:22:13 PM
So the SCUMFAIL lawyer who was so sure and persuaded the police to act needs to be called to explain their actions, and face sanction if they were wrong.
Paul Dennis Murison 2014-08-26 06:33:57 PM
Terrible
Kevin Marsh 2014-08-26 07:07:06 PM
There is a way to do things , but you never destroy the limited goods that the very poor have . Scamral is a disgrace in so many ways .
Archie Dempster 2014-08-26 07:41:50 PM
When an order like that comes before a member of the police he must take it to a qualified attorney for clearance and those lawyers who said that the court order was valid should be taken before the their council or charge with false declaration
matches 2014-08-26 07:46:48 PM
as valid as your conscience
Tebogo Moroka 2014-08-26 08:00:29 PM
Sanral is the biggest joke of the century. Can someone (reporter) who has facts on how much is made by the government from petrol tax, vehicle emission tax, toll roads, e-toll, VAT allocation, etc? I'm sure the public would want to know by how much we are being screwed. Then afterwards we can have a robust discussion on whether we should be extremely angry with the government or not. Complaining in darkness is just crap.
Utopian Indigent 2014-08-27 01:18:56 AM
The REAL point is the ANC-controlled Sanral waited till AFTER poor people voted 4 them before using old court order to evict them in coldest week of the year. Pure Evil. Sanral land is government land, that is where squatters should be, not on private land. Government owns the most dormant land in SA.
Utopian Indigent 2014-08-27 01:19:56 AM
The REAL point is the ANC-controlled Sanral waited till AFTER poor people voted 4 them before using old court order to evict them in coldest week of the year. Pure Evil. Sanral land is government land, that is where squatters should be, not on private land. Government owns the most dormant land in SA.