eviction - Stanhope mining compound - Johannesburg - access to justice

SERI was approached by over a hundred poor people in occupation of an abandoned mining compound called Stanhope Compound, after an eviction order had been granted against them. The order was granted in their absence because the attorney they instructed to appear for them prepared papers, however, without their knowledge did not to appear for them because they had not paid him.

SERI lodged an application for leave to appeal and a rescission application on behalf the occupiers. The applications state that where there is a likelihood that the eviction might lead to homelessness a court is bound to make an enquiry into the circumstances of the occupiers even if they are unrepresented. This is the effected of the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Occupiers of Shulana Court, 11 Hendon Road, Johannesburg v Mark Lewis Steele [2010] ZASCA 28. Upon receipt of SERI’s applications, the owner decided to abandon its eviction order and to launch new eviction proceedings. SERI will represent the occupiers in the new proceedings.