Abahlali baseMjondolo has filed its heads of argument as amicus curiae in the Marikana land occupation appeal. The appeal will be heard on 27 May 2014 in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The occupiers are represented by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), while SERI represents Abahlali as amicus in the appeal.
The case involves the occupation of a piece of privately-owned land, dubbed "Marikana", located in Philippi, Cape Town. The property owner and the City of Cape Town are appealing an order handed down by the Western Cape High Court in March 2014, which found that the City's Anti-Land Invasion Unit had unlawfully demolished informal structures on the land. The City was ordered to rebuild the shacks. The court rejected the City's argument that it was entitled to demolish structures without a court order if it deemed the structures were unoccupied.
This case raises important issues relating to the circumstances in which an organ of state may take steps to remove people and material from unlawfully occupied land, and/or demolish structures erected on that land, without an order of court authorising an eviction.