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Video of naked man being evicted in Cape Town causes outrage on Twitter

02 July 2020 - 13:09 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Cape Town authorities are investigating an incident in which a naked man was forcibly removed from a shack in Khayelitsha.
Cape Town authorities are investigating an incident in which a naked man was forcibly removed from a shack in Khayelitsha.
Image: nito500/123rf

A video showing Cape Town officials violently removing a naked man from a shack in Khayelitsha has caused outrage among South Africans.

In the now-viral video that was shared on Wednesday, the man is seen being dragged out of his shack by law-enforcement officers.

He is seen wrestling with officials, before managing to re-enter his home,  which, the city claimed, was on illegally occupied land belonging to the municipality.

The city’s executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, said an investigation and disciplinary procedures related to an incident were pending.

“We are in the process of suspending four staff members involved in the incident pending the outcome of the investigation. The suspension also ensures that staff is not targeted while on duty. We are saddened by the conduct depicted on the video footage, and we do not condone any forceful and dehumanising conduct by our staff members,” said Bosman.

Bosman said the city does not condone violence of any nature by law-enforcement staff.

He said the land in question belonged to the city and it has conducted various operations to prevent illegal land occupation.

“After the removal of illegally built structures, new attempts are made to invade again daily. 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.”

Human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu condemned the eviction, calling it “distasteful”.  

“While we are yet to be appraised of the exact details of what led to what we have seen on various media platforms, we wish to condemn with the strongest terms an act which sought to degrade an individual like what we have witnessed. The act is inhumane and has no place in our democratic SA,” she said.

The EFF also condemned the eviction, saying it was “undignified, inhumane and cruel”.

“To wrestle a naked human being out of his home reveals a deep-seated hatred for black life by a city that has failed to provide adequate housing,” the party said.

On Twitter, the DA's John Steenhuisen said, “We must promote the law and bill of rights at all times, rejecting brutality.”

Here is a snapshot of what many had to say about the actions of the city officials.