Apparently illegal evictions from the Marievale military will be back in the North Gauteng High Court two more times this year.
The first is set down for Tuesday 9 October when Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) appear on behalf of more than 70 families evicted, apparently illegally, from the East Gauteng facility late last year. The NGO will ask for water to be made available for their clients to use as this has apparently been stopped by physically digging up water pipes and not allowing water tankers access.
The second is set down for 19 November as part of normal court business and will deal with an urgent application brought last month. This was to have Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, SA Army Chief Lieutenant General Lindile Yam and Colonel Mafihlwase Mkize, said by LHR to be Marievale base commander, jailed for contempt. The contempt charge was brought as an urgent application when the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) did not comply with a court order to either provide alternative accommodation or allow evictees to return. This was deemed not urgent by the court and LHR has now been given the November date for this aspect of the issue.
Research done by defenceWeb indicates the base is in use as an accommodation facility housing members of the SA Army Engineer Formation based at nearby Dunnottar. Earlier this year it temporarily housed SA Army members enrolled and on course at the SA Army Gymnasium in Heidelberg. As far as can be ascertained the base is not an active one although it is believed there are a number of Reserve Force soldiers deployed there on guard and sentry duty.
The Corporate Communications Directorate of the SANDF will not comment further on the Marievale issue maintaining it is “sub judice”.
The November court date will, LHR hopes, rule on whether to send Yam and Mkize to jail for 120 days unless the SANDF complies with the May court ruling to either allow evictees back or provide alternative accommodation for them. LHR will ask to court to issue warrants of arrest for the officers, suspended for 12 months, on condition the May court ruling is complied with.