Illegal evictions are not allowed during lockdown period
I’ve written to the Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz and his Department, requesting they seek clarity from the South African Police Services (SAPS), as to why they’re allegedly turning away tenants who have illegally been evicted.
We have received two complaints in the Cape Metropolitan area where it is alleged that SAPS officers have refused to assist tenants. It is critical that no other person experience an injustice such as this.
The regulations issued in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002, Chapter 3, paragraph 19 states there is “a prohibition on evictions. A competent court may grant an order for the eviction of any person from land or a home in terms of the provisions of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, 62 of 1997 and the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998. Provided that any order of eviction shall be stayed and suspended until the last day Alert level 4, unless a court decides that it is not just and equitable to stay and suspend the order until the last day of the Alert level 4 period.”
SAPS has a responsibility to enforce the laws of this country and as such these incidents which we’re aware of are disturbing and unacceptable to say the least. I will not allow alleged lawlessness to creep into the system, particularly not from those who swore to uphold and defend the law. The Western Cape Department of Community Safety has been requested to get to the bottom of this.
It is particularly now during this unprecedented and challenging period that we need our SAPS to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
I would like to also remind both tenants and landlords to find each other during this difficult period. Where common ground cannot be found, feel free to contact the Rental Housing Tribunal for assistance.
We should as one defend the laws of our country and the lives of the most vulnerable. This is critical in our fight against COVID-19 and if we’re going to #StopTheSpread