Pheko and Others v Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality

Case No. Lower Court Judgments Hearing Date
CCT 19/11 Constitutional Court, 6 Dec. 2011 12 Aug. 2014

By Duncan Wild on 11 August 2014

On 6 December 2011, the Constitutional Court found that the Ekurhuleni Municipality had acted unlawfully in evicting occupier of the Bapsfontein Informal Settlement. The Municipality was ordered to find land in the area on which to relocated the occupiers, to engage meaningfully with those occupiers, and to report the steps taken in order to comply with the order to the Court. The matter is now back before the Court as the Municipality has apparently not yet relocated the occupiers, and in particular has not complied with the Constitutional Court’s order requiring a report on the relocation progress. The Court has therefore called upon the Municipality to show why it should not be held in contempt.

The original occupiers split into two groups after the judgement, referred to as the “Mayfield Community” and the “N12 Community”. The Mayfield Community were dissatisfied with the Municipality’s proposals and wanted to be relocated as near as possible to the former Bapsfontein Settlement. The N12 Community were, however, satisfied and reached an agreement with the Municipality in December 2012.

Despite the agreement between the N12 Community and the Municipality, the N12 Community has yet to be relocated. On several occasions in late 2013 and early 2014, the Court required the Municipality to provide an update on the progress of the relocation of the N12 Community but received no response.

Therefore on 15 May 2014, the Court issued directions calling the Municipality to show why it should not be held in contempt of Court for failing to provide a progress report, as the Court had ordered it to do.

The applicants argue that the Municipality has provided no adequate explanation for its failure to comply. The Municipality claims that it did not receive notice of the Court’s orders requiring a progress report as they had changed attorneys, and say that it could not relocate the N12 Community without a further Court order requiring it to do so.



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