On 10 March 2014, 22 residents were unlawfully evicted from the View Court building in Bellevue, Johannesburg. The building is owned by Misty Sea Trading 221 (Pty) Ltd and is managed by Immer Property Management.

Since January 2014 the residents have not had electricity, as it was disconnected by City Power. The residents were accused by City Power of stealing the electricity meter and connecting illegally; however the owner of the building was responsible for installing the electricity meter. On 7 February 2014 security guards from Immer Property Management ‘arrested’ all of the male occupiers of the building for housebreaking and theft, alleging that they had stolen the electricity meter.

A month later, on the morning of 10 March, ten large armed men arrived at the property and made residents' entry to the building conditional on the production of a slip that rental had been paid. The residents approached SERI for assistance, who asked the SAPS to intervene. The SAPS refused, arguing that they deal with crime, not buildings. The director of Immer Property Management told the SAPS that the bouncers were acting on his instruction and that he is managing the property on behalf of the owner. When SERI arrived at the building, the SAPS officials were leaving. Many of the residents were locked out the property, standing outside in the rain.

An urgent application was launched in the South Gauteng High Court, heard by Judge Van Oosten. He granted an interim order allowing the residents access to their homes and preventing the security guards from denying access to the property. The SAPS was ordered to assist the residents in executing the order. At midnight the order was served on a representative from Immer Property Management and the residents were allowed access to the property.

  • Read the order (10 March 2014) here.