Video of naked man being evicted in Cape Town causes outrage on Twitter
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.”
Swift action on this matter by the City of Cape Town is welcomed, not withstanding the fact that these are acts we shouldn't be witnessing anyway.— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) July 1, 2020
We remain a democratic state and not a military state. We must promote the law and Bill of Rights at all times, rejecting brutality. pic.twitter.com/iOmWxzMuKS
Here is a snapshot of what many had to say about the actions of the city officials.
Dear @CityofCT, I would have expected an outright condemnation of the violation of the right to dignity before a promise to establish the circumstances. On matters such as this I could always count on #AuntyPatty to be unequivocal during my @PublicProtector days #SocialJustice https://t.co/x585ZjN9Ve— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) July 1, 2020
Before you act ask:— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) June 26, 2020
1. Is this Ethical- Is it the right and respectful thing to do
2. Is the Purpose right, fair and just to everyone
3 Will the Impact be good for all and congruent with the future I wanthttps://t.co/86A8HTKucv this attuned to my Commitment to serve all #EPIC
Just seen video of a man being dehumanized by @CityofCT vigilantes. A sadistic power play, using usual tools of racism & classism. The man in the video will not thank us for sharing videos of his naked self, being violated in this manner. BUT the city MUST NOT BE GIVEN A BREAK!— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) July 1, 2020
The City of Cape Town is virulently anti-poor… and in a country where the overwhelming majority of the poor are black, the City of Cape Town is anti-black.— Ottilia Anna MaSibanda (@MaS1banda) July 1, 2020
The City of Cape Town must be tried for crimes against humanity. OMG, I cannot believe this.— Jamil F. Khan (@JamilFarouk) July 1, 2020
City of Cape Town is trash, has always been trash and will continue to be trash.— Janine J 💕 (@janine_j) July 1, 2020
The City of Cape Town has never been shy to remind the poor that it doesn’t care for them!— Tumi Sole (@tumisole) July 1, 2020
If it the City was to have its way, the poor would be locked up in some refugee camp!
A not so gentle reminder that the City of Cape Town are evicting people during a global pandemic in the middle of winter. Please donate money and blankets and toiletries and food where you can. There are lots of resources available on IG and Google.— what colour is your heart today? (@booksbakesbants) June 27, 2020