The SA Human Rights Commission has stopped the eviction of nearly 1500 people in Phase 7 in the Bloemspruit area in Bloemfontein. A spokesperson says the shack dwellers of some 590 structures would have been evicted yesterday in terms of an eviction order the metro obtained. Free State manager of the HRC Buang Jones says the residents of Phase 7 contacted the commission the moment they heard they were going to be evicted. Jones says the HRC studied the eviction order and filed a court review application a day before the evictions. “We decided to review the court papers and we found out that the court did not consider their personal circumstances. The municipality did not make any submission with regard to the provision of alternative accommodation and there was no meaningful engagement before the municipality decided to take this step,” Jones says. He says it seems there were also not meaningful discussions between the community and the metro on the issue. Jones said the actions by the metro are against a Constitutional Court judgment on how municipalities should carry out evictions. “We lodge an application for leave to appeal the eviction order with the court and we effectively halted the evictions.” Jones said the HRC was waiting for a new court date when the matter will be again before the court. He said the HRC will argue that the eviction order granted to the metro was not just and equitable.
– Andre Grobler