WATCH | Men involved in eviction of naked man from Khayelitsha shack to be suspended
The City of Cape Town said on Wednesday it was "in the process of suspending" four law enforcement officials involved in the eviction of a named man from the shack he was occupying in Khayelitsha.
The eviction was caught on video.
"We are saddened by the conduct depicted on the video footage and we do not condone any forceful and dehumanising conduct," said the city.
Numsa president Irvin Jim, who tweeted the video of the incident, described it as “inhumane”.
In the video, members of the city's anti-land invasion unit are seen removing the naked man from his shack and taking him outside. There is a scuffle as the man tries to make his way back into his shack, with four or five officials blocking his path and some pushing him to the ground.
As he tries to get back into the shack, other members of the team dismantle the front portion of the shack, which consists of the door and window. The members continue to dismantle the shack while the man sits on the bed.
The City is in the process of suspending staff members pending further investigation and disciplinary procedures related to an incident today in Khayelitsha. We are saddened by the conduct depicted on the video footage and we do not condone any forceful and dehumanising conduct. pic.twitter.com/CPeLbxdCOY— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) July 1, 2020
In a statement on Wednesday, the city said the incident of the nude man depicted on the video occurred during a city law enforcement operation.
“The actions of officers involved in this matter is being investigated with urgency, including other footage which the city has. Once the investigation has been completed, the appropriate action will be taken,” it said.
It said the land in question was owned by the city, which had conducted various operations to prevent illegal land occupation. After removing illegal occupiers, it said new attempts were made to invade the land again on a daily basis.
“The land is earmarked for installation of services to serve the broader community in the area. There is an interdict in place, as well as a recent court order which allows only 49 households to temporarily remain on the land until after the lockdown.”
The city said it must also maintain this recent court order.
Jim, who posted the video on Twitter, said these evictions by the unit must be rejected.