n South African Journal on Human Rights - Judicial enforcement of the right to protection from arbitrary eviction : lessons from Mandelaville

Volume 22, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



A case study of the exercise of judicial discretion in the enforcement of the right to protection from arbitrary evictions in s 26(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The article analyses analysing the implementation and impact of court-sanctioned forced eviction and relocation of Mandelaville, a community of some 6000 informal settlers in Johannesburg, during early 2002. The analysis emphasises the adverse impact of the relocation on access to livelihoods and social services in the relocated community. It is argued that the forced relocation could have been prevented, or its impact ameliorated, had the judge ordering the eviction exercised his discretion in a manner which took more seriously the needs and vulnerabilities of South Africa's urban poor. Enormous power is assigned to judges in adjudicating applications for the eviction of large numbers of very poor people. That power needs to be exercised with a deep sensitivity to the particular needs of South Africa's poor.

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