Not only did a Sea Point resident lost her fight against her eviction last week, but she was also ordered by the High Court to pay the costs in a judgement that has been described as “chilling”.
Last week, Thandeka Beauty Sisusa lost her appeal against being evicted from her Sea Point residence at the Rapallo apartments. She had been concerned about being evicted because she was staying with her daughter and two-month-old granddaughter who had just been treated at hospital for meningitis (“Fighting for a home”, Atlantic Sun, December 15).
In a statement on Reclaim The City’s Facebook page, they described the judgement “chilling”. It read: “To explain this: a poor black woman who can only afford to pay R450 for a room is evicted by a wealthy white family. In theory, she is now liable to pay their legal fees. Because she could not find another room and asked for more time. Because she spoke out.
“This is chilling. The vast majority of tenants cannot hope to defend themselves against wealthy landlords. This sends a clear message to poor and working class people: do not defend yourself in court. It will cost you. Go quietly. The barriers to justice have never been so clearly demonstrated.”
The group stressed the importance of continuing the campaign for affordable housing as there were many in Ms Sisusa’s position facing eviction. “We must regroup and push back harder against property power. What we want is fair and just – an affordable place to stay in a well located area,” the statement concluded.
Ms Sisusa has been told to leave by Monday January 9 or else a sheriff would be there on Tuesday January 10.