Media: Get a lawyer, evicted families told

31 01 2010

January 26, 2010 Edition 1
KOWTHAR SOLOMONS Staff Reporter – Cape Argus

SIXTEEN families evicted from the Blikkiesdorp relocation area for the illegal occupation of houses say they will have to sleep on the streets until they get a lawyer to argue their case in court.
During a meeting with the City of Cape Town yesterday, representatives for those evicted were told that they would have to approach the city’s legal department to compel the city to find them alternative accommodation.

The 16 families – 60 people – were evicted on Thursday.

“We have women and children living on the street… And the city has now asked us to find a lawyer before they’ll help us,” Blikkiesdorp committee member Johan Jordaan said.

He said he had hoped at the meeting to find a way to either move the 60 people into temporary shelter or to negotiate with the city to allow them to return to Blikkiesdorp.

Instead, all questions about the eviction had been referred to the city’s legal department.

Trevor Mitchell, the head of housing and policy research for the city, said residents should contact the city’s legal offices for help.

“We understand their situation, but they occupied those homes illegally. We are more than willing to help them if they… follow the proper channels.”

Jordaan said they would either approach Legal Aid SA for help or seek financial assistance to find a private attorney.

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