A video shared to social media on Wednesday [July 1] shows City of Cape Town officials violently removing a naked man from a shack in Khayelitsha. The City claims he was illegally occupying the land as it allegedly belongs to the City of Cape Town.
The ANC has now condemned the actions of the officials. Xolani Sotashe, Leader of the Opposition in City of Cape Town said in a statement that the actions are barbaric.
“An outraged Xolani Sotashe, Leader of the Opposition in the City of Cape Town, has slammed as barbaric and against the spirit of our democracy the actions of law enforcement officers who evicted a naked man from his shack in Ethembeni informal settlement today.
“The man, who’s name is known to the ANC, was having a bath in his shack in Ward 95, Khayelitsha, when City of Cape Town law enforcement officers arrived to evict him.”
According to Sotashe, the man was bathing himself in preparation to go to work when the officials arrived, and he had asked them if he may get dressed first.
“They wouldn’t listen to him and sprayed him with pepper spray on his private parts and in his eyes. He could not get their names because they did not wear name tags,” says Sotashe. “They acted illegally because they did not have a court or a warrant. This man is shattered. We condemn this inhumane and barbaric action.”
Trigger warning: Abuse.
According to Sotashe, calls to Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato have gone unanswered.
“This is typical of him. I took up the matter with Mayco member Malusi Booi. He is adamant that he did not give instructions for today’s action. If he did not, who did? We want urgent answers from the City.”
A series of Tweets from the City explains that the incident took place during a City law enforcement operation, and that an urgent investigation has been launched into the matter.
“Urgent investigation launched by City. The incident of a 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 and once the investigation has been completed the appropriate action will be taken.
“The land in question belongs to the City of Cape Town and the City has conducted various operations to prevent illegal land occupation. After removed, new attempts are made to invade 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 must also maintain this recent court order. The City will communicate further in due course.”
Urgent investigation launched by City.
The incident of a 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, 1/4
— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) July 1, 2020
Since the video was shared, people have taken to social media condemning the actions of the City officials.
This is how Cape Town law enforcement enjoy humiliating people. This is their style of operation. These guys moer without purpose and when they are called to the real crime scene. They quick to transfer. But will quickly search people of colour within the Newlands area
— IG Sirboring🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦 (@sirboring_26) July 1, 2020
@CityofCT @Our_DA what have we become that you can evict someone while they are bathing. Why could the ppl not wait until the guy is appropriately dressed. In what world is behavior acceptable? @SaHumanRights please do something about these cruel evictions during lockdown.
— Sporo (@sporomenta) July 1, 2020
The City of Cape Town seems to spend most of its time carrying out evictions, instead of delivering actual services. This is really painful to watch.
— Nyambeni Davhana (@Nyambeni_D) July 1, 2020
Thats totally unacceptable.the city should take responsibility for what just happened.even a person whose in violation of the law deserves to be treated with dignity.Shame western cape shame.
— love always. (@MsPhogole) July 1, 2020
Picture: screenshot from video