June 01, 2009 Edition 1 Source: Cape Argus – Opinion Page
MAYOR Dan Plato claims that his Cape Town city administration lawfully demolished shacks in Macassar Village because they were “still being erected and not occupied”.
The people whose shacks were destroyed vigorously contest Plato’s claim that their shacks were not fully erected and that they were not yet unoccupied.
They are seeking legal assistance to be able to contest this in court.
There are independent eyewitnesses who can confirm that people had in fact moved into the shacks with their furniture before the first demolitions.
Plato’s claim that the shacks in Macassar Village “do not constitute a home as per the constitution” has no legal basis.
On the contrary the PIE Act is crystal clear that no “hut, shack, tent or similar structure or any other form of temporary or permanent dwelling or shelter” can be demolished without an order of the court.
There is no doubt that the structures erected (and demolished) in Macassar Village qualified for protection under the PIE Act.
Plato had no order of the court when his administration ordered the Macassar Village demolition and that demolition was therefore, without doubt, a criminal act.
If the DA are serious about the rule of the law they must demand the arrest of the person that gave the order for the demolition.Richard Pithouse Department of Politics