The City of Cape Town have filed opposing papers against a content of court charge made by seven homeless people in the city.
The group of homeless people brought forward a contempt of court charge against Cape Town major Dan Plato and several City officials following the continued fining of homeless people despite a court order baring such a move.
“The answering papers from the City were received at 12pm on Wednesday and we’re considering them, so unfortunately the matter wasn’t heard as we still need to reply to the City’s affidavit,” said Lucien Lewin, a director at Dingley Marshall Inc, the law firm representing the seven applicants.
The seven applicants are seeking a suspended sentence against the City officials contempt of court.
However, mayor Dan Plato said neither he nor JP Smith were parties to the main application, “and it’s confusing, to say the least, as to why the applicants’ legal team have decided to add the political office-bearers to the contempt application.
“Neither the mayor nor Alderman Smith issue instructions when it comes to enforcement action, nor do they take enforcement action, so attempting to hold them responsible for the alleged non-compliance with the court order is illogical.”
Plato said people were fined for contravening by-laws, regardless of their social status.
“The City has a duty to uphold its by-laws for all and act when a person is in contravention of these laws. It must be emphasised that similar by-laws are on the books in other major metropolitan cities in the country.”
Plato said it had been agreed by both parties that the order prohibiting the pursuit of these fines only applied to the seven mentioned in this application.
More: Cape Argus