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Hlophe squatters ruling concerns ConCourt judge

Publish date: 22 August 2008
Issue Number: 2138
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: Litigation

The N2 Gateway squatters yesterday asked the Constitutional Court to overturn Cape Judge President John Hlophe's ruling that they were 'illegal occupants' of the Joe Slovo land, which some claim they have lived on since the early 1990s.

The squatters also want to challenge the judge's decision that they had 'no reasonable expectation' that most of them should be accommodated in the homes to be constructed, says a Cape Times report. Judge Kate O'Regan yesterday expressed disquiet over Hlophe's controversial order that the residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement be moved to make way for the government's pilot N2 Gateway Housing Project, pointing out that it made no mention of where they would be moved to. 'It's one of the things that really bothers me... I couldn't imagine an order for eviction that didn't set out where and how the respondents would be accommodated,' she said. O'Regan added that Hlophe's order gave no sense of the process the state would follow in relocating the informal settlement dwellers. O'Regan and her fellow judges urged lawyers for the government, its housing agency and the squatters to work together to compile a draft order, replacing that given by Hlophe, and detailing how the government would move the squatters 'fairly and openly', within the next week. Judge Zak Yacoob suggested it place on record what percentage of the Joe Slovo development's homes would be provided to its former occupants. Judgment was reserved. Full Cape Times report (subscription needed)