Court hears Lanseria eviction case

By Max Rambau, CORC

The leadership of the Malatjie Informal Settlement informed the alliance that the Lanseria eviction case was going to be heard at the Randburg’s Land Claims’ Court.

This case relates to the eviction of people in Lanseria (Bultfontein Farm) by the landowner, Mr. Martin Wood, who also destroyed the houses and damaged their goods.

The case was adjourned from last month, and on July 11 the last three witnesses took the stand.

The Gauteng Provincial Housing Department was not available. The City of Johannesburg Municipality did not take the stand.

What was a bit of a concern, as it also was last month, was the manner of questioning of the witnesses. The lawyers representing the City of Johannesburg Municipality and those representing the landowner asked questions that did not relate to the case at all. They asked questions that were personal. They asked questions about financial status and the possessions of witnesses. We could not understand the reasons for this line of questioning.

One of the lawyers for the City of Johannesburg asked the witness why he had applied for an RDP house, and how much money he was earning. The lawyer also told the witness that he had a lot of money.

The witness ended up getting angry for being asked these type of questions by different lawyers and ended up telling the lawyer that it means they had destroyed their houses because they thought that they had a lot of money. The lawyer then stopped asking the witness any further questions.

Even the judge had to reprimand the lawyer for asking irrelevant and personal questions sometimes.

The lawyers were actually badgering the witnesses and putting words in their mouths.

The court will hear the final arguments from the lawyers on the 19th July 2011.

The ISN and FEDUP in Region A will prepare themselves to go and give support at the Randburg Land Claims’ Court.

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The people of Lanseria were evicted, their belongings thrown next to the road and their houses destroyed.

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After they were evicted, the residents were housed in tents.