Mpumalanga Legislature Debate: DA condemns illegal and forceful evictions

Bosman Grobler, MPL

Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature

Note:  This is a member’s statement by Bosman Grobler MPL, to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, during the debate for the Motion on Illegal evictions in Nkangala on 21 October 2014 

Honourable Speaker

Honourable speaker, it is ironic that the Honourable member from the EFF has raised this motion for debate. We all know the EFF gained votes with opportunistic electioneering messages like. “We will bring Land without Compensation.” EFF party policy is to expropriate private ownership of land, and to distribute all land ownership to the state. EFF documents suggest illegal occupation and forceful removal of land owners to accomplish this goal.

In essence, we are now debating against an action, directly endorsed by EFF policy. This is a huge contradiction of EFF party policy, and I think the EFF should now decide what their stance is on the matter. Did they blatantly lie to the public to get into parliament? This debate certainly suggests that, or maybe Hon Sedibe does not know his party policy?

We stand here today to debate – in principle – an important matter. A matter that has the potential to halt the economy of a nation. A matter which will have devastating consequences for any individual involved. Illegal and forceful evictions knows no race, gender or culture. It can affect people in towns, informal settlements and on farms, people living in permanent as well as temporary structures.  Illegal and forceful removals knows no boundaries. But we also stand here today, without reference to a specific event.  We are debating “The forceful evictions of people in Nkangala.” We don’t know when, where and how this happened.

Honourable speaker, the Constitution section 26(3) limits property rights by prohibiting anyone – including a municipality – from evicting someone from their home, or having their home demolished, without a court order, issued after considering all the relevant circumstances.

Honourable Speaker, a court of law will determine whether the eviction is just and fair. The court will than issue a court order granting the eviction of illegal occupiers. A lawful eviction takes place after a notice of proceedings is sent to the illegal occupiers within 14 days of the proceeding.

Illegal evictions are a serious matter and should not be a political football.

That said, after intensive research, the DA in Mpumalanga has not found any evidence of illegal removals or evictions in our province.

The Premier has on several occasions stated in this house, that there are no evidence of illegal evictions anywhere in Mpumalanga, including on farms.

The DA calls on any citizen, which has been subjected to such an illegal eviction, to come forward, present the evidence and lay charges at the SAPS.

Honourable Speaker, the DA’s stance is clear that forced and/or illegal evictions without due process should be condemned as strong as any intended illegal land occupation or invasion. It is imperative that the Rule of Law and the Constitutional order of South African be respected at all times. This is crucial for the success of our democracy.