Four Cape Town law enforcement officers will be suspended over the forceful eviction of a naked man in full view of spectators and cameras.
The city dismantled four homes in the Khayelitsha community of Empolweni, leaving the families that had been living there with nowhere else to go.
The structures were illegally erected on city-owned land, which was the subject of a court battle during stage five lockdown.
Video footage of the naked man has been widely shared on social media and the city has come under fire from many shocked South Africans for violating his dignity.
The families had been staying in the homes they had constructed themselves for over a month.
Empolweni community leader Nomfuneko Khonokhono said her neighbours were outraged after law enforcement officers removed a man from his house while he was naked.
“They came to the house where the guy was bathing inside. They couldn’t even say wait outside… they opened the door and the guy was like ‘I’m washing myself’ they were pulling him out of the house. How is it possible that you are a citizen, but they could do that to a man in front of people.”
The city said it was urgently investigating the actions of law enforcement officers involved in this operation.
Khonokhono said the officers took their building materials and many of their belongings have been damaged: “The only thing we need is to have a house to stay in, even if they call it hokkies, it is our home. We don’t have any place to stay.”
The families slept in tents outside on Wednesday night.