Sowetan, Soweto, South Africa, 15th October 2009
A Constitutional Court ruling against a section of the Slums Act will prevent mass evictions in a “clean-up” before the 2010 Soccer World, the Black Sash rights group says.
“I hope this judgment sends a very clear message to all the other provinces that might try to copy this law particularly in their haste to ’clean up’ before the World Cup,” said Evashnee Naidu, regional director for the Black Sash in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Constitutional Court has declared the KwaZulu-Natal Elimination and Prevention of Re-emergence of Slums Act (Slums Act) unconstitutional. The piece of legislation would have allowed mass evictions in KwaZulu-Natal.
The court challenge was brought by Abahlali baseMjondolo and its president Sibusiso Zikode in the Durban High Court in February 2008. They lost the case and took the matter to the highest court in the land, which ruled in their favour.
The Inkatha Freedom Party also welcomed the ruling.
“The IFP is on record having opposed this law from its inception for it sought to resurrect the old apartheid-tactics where the regime would use its powers to bulldoze the disenfranchised and the impotent out of the ’civilised white areas’.
“We did not expect a democratic government which claims commitment to human rights to promulgate such a law,” said eThekwini IFP spokesman Joshua Mazibuko.
He said the government needed to find sustainable strategies to grow the economy instead of “resorting to strong-arm tactics”. Sapa