Dr NC Dlamini Zuma
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Private Bag X802
Ms M Kubayi
Minister of Human Settlements
Private Bag X644
Mr LO Mabuyane
Premier of the Eastern Cape
Private Bag X0047
Dear Minister Dlamini Zuma, Minister Kubayi and Premier Mabuyane
Request for intervention: Ingquza Hill Local Municipality’s failure to address outstanding issues of dispute resolution and temporary housing as per court order
1. A desperate, frustrated group of people who were the victims of their homes and property being destroyed and demolished in 2016, by the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, recently approached me for assistance.
2. They all hail from the New Rest Community in Lusikisiki.
3. The attached court order provides greater detail, but it is worth quoting the judgment where it states that: “On that ill-omened day, their property (comprising houses, dwellings, shelter, personal belongings) was demolished and destroyed. Everything in sight was subjected to such serious brutality that the perpetrators saw fit and necessary to be so merciless as to not spare even basic sources of food such as vegetable gardens, lest those whose residences, dwellings and shelter was being demolished later return to the land… to rebuild their lives. Prior to this saddening event, there had been no consultation with the respondents and neither had they been afforded time within which to remove their personal and other belongings.”
4. It further states that: “The events… are a sorry reminder of the darkest hour of the history of this country and the conditions with which its previously oppressed and segregated majority had to contend. These events, can best be characterized as the apartheid error style type of evictions that has no place in a constitutional democracy such as one South Africa has today. What happened to the respondents on Thursday, 06 October 2016 is something no human being should be subjected to, regardless of who is the perpetrator and whatever the perpetrator’s cause.”
5. I can no better articulate the injustice of what happened to the people of New Rest.
6. Firstly, the judge ordered that a process of negotiation should be entered into and that a resolution should be found before 8 November 2016. This has not happened.
7. It was secondly ordered that pending the negotiations, the respondents (being the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, the Municipal Manager and the Mayor) should “construct for those individual applicants who residences were demolished and/or who were evicted on 6th October 2016, emergency temporary habitable tents or similar dwellings that afford shelter, privacy and amenities at the property of Erf 49 Lusikisiki in the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality”. This did not happen.
8. It is now 2022 and despite countless promises, these people are destitute and still without roofs over their heads.
9. I write to your good offices with the urgent request for intervention both in the form of calling the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality to order and ensuring that the affected people are provided with housing.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement