On Tuesday, 04 June, the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Councillor Mashaba wrote to the City Manager, Dr Ndivho Lukhwareni, directing him to initiate an independent investigation of the processes leading to the eviction of residents in Alexandra last Friday 31 May 2019.
After visiting the area on Monday and meeting with those impacted by the demolitions, Mayor Mashaba raised further concerns that the processes were flouted. He found residents of the area who were able to demonstrate to him how the demolition fell short of the legal obligations of the City of Johannesburg.
He said: “This investigation must determine where the orders were given, and how the processes followed were either compliant or departed from the standard operating procedures of the JMPD. At the end of the day, there must be accountability when government acts in a manner that is inconsistent with the law.
“My anger stems from the manner in which the entire process was handled. The political offices of the MMC for Public Safety, and my own, were not informed about the demolition. This deprived the political leadership of its obligation to have oversight of the legality of the operation."
He added that “there is no question that the residents of the affected area reside there illegally", but he also cautioned that, “as government, we have an obligation to address these matters without ourselves falling short of the law".
“As government, we have an obligation to remedy the wrong that we have committed according to the legal requirements of spoliation. For this reason we will be assisting the residents to rebuild their homes, alongside an electrification program in the area. However, this has to be seen as a temporary solution, while a more sustainable long-term solution is found for these residents," Mashaba said.