Court stops Madibeng from evicting single mother

The Brits Magistrates’ Court denied an application by the Madibeng Municipality to evict a single mother with a special needs child from a stand in Letlhabile.

Magistrate Reagan Rosenberg refused the application, saying “it would not be just and equitable” to evict the Letswalo family from the stand.

The mother of two children built a shack on the stand in 2020 after her husband left her and she was forced to move from her rented house in a nearby township. The municipality served two notices of eviction to the mother in October 2020 and when she did not move, the municipality applied for an eviction order.

Madibeng argued that the property was rezoned as a park and it wanted to dig a trench where her shack was to help with the movement of rainwater in the area.

The mother sought help from the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR). LHR argued that it was not just and equitable to evict a woman-headed household when there was nowhere else for her to go.

Magistrate Rosenberg said in circumstances like these the state is duty-bound to provide accommodation to the affected party, even if it is temporarily. “The applicant has failed to provide alternative or emergency accommodation. After considering all the circumstances it will not be just and equitable to evict because it is a woman-headed household which is vulnerable and there is a child with special needs residing on the property in question.”