Shot man mulls legal action

A community activist says he will sue a security company and the police for damages after he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet during an eviction at Sunset Village flats, in Scottsdene, on March 29.

More than 500 people, including children and the elderly, were evicted after illegally occupying the unfinished flats in Melody Street.

Desmond “Solly” Gordon said he had been trying to defend a woman, Marissa Solomons, who had been hit in the chest with a rubber bullet, when one had hit his forehead (“Illegal occupants evicted”, Northern News, April 4).

Mr Gordon was taken to Kraaifontein Hospital where he received stitches. He said he had subsequently filed a J88 and laid charges of attempted murder.

Mr Gordon said the backyard dwellers who had occupied the flats had done nothing to provoke the security guards who came to remove them; instead they had

turned their backs to them and raised their hands.

“In the past, we would throw stones or there would be petrol bombs, but there was none of this. We reacted in a peaceful manner, but we were treated like dogs. I am taking legal action because no arrests have been made,” he said.

“I told the (police) officers that I would identify the guy who shot me, but they have not done anything.”

Bradley Muller, Mr Gordon’s lawyer, said he would be pursuing a “delictual claim against the security as well as SAPS for not preventing the harm caused to the client”.

After video footage of the eviction went viral, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in the Western Cape, Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, and Advocate Winston Erasmus filed an urgent appeal at the Western Cape High Court on behalf of the residents.

Property owners, Calgro M3 Consortium Limited, allegedly hired a security company to carry out the evictions. Court papers identify that company as Vetus Schola Protection Services.

But in an answering affidavit, the property owners say they never ordered a security company, nor the sheriff of the court, to have anyone evicted from the property.

General Secretary at Oostenberg Social Development Forum, Peter Syster, said the evictees continued to sleep under the tents in front the Sunset Village flats and refused to move until they received alternative accommodation.

Mr Syster said he had “picked up a cold after being brutally evicted”.

The case is due to be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Friday April 20.

Vetus Schola Protection Services managing director Christian Muller declined to comment other than to say:”We welcome any cases opened for investigation by SAPS.”

Kraaifontein police spokesman, Captain Gerhard Nieman confirmed an attempted murder case had been opened and is under investigation.