The group of queers who have been squatting in a larney Camps Bay holiday house have left the building.
On Thursday, the seven members of the We See You movement finally checked out, three weeks after booking into the property in Roland Avenue, and after a Cape High Court judge last week ordered them to leave or face eviction.
On their noon deadline, the group gathered their belongings but before they left, they were joined by a large group of supporters and fellow activists including Singabalapha (We Belong Here), who danced in the house and sang: “We don’t fear what we are doing.”
Minutes later when assessors from property managers Turnkey 360 arrived, they handed over the keys and left peacefully.
The queers had booked the six-bedroom Panacea Villa, which was listed on Airbnb, initially for a three-day weekend stay from 18 September, paying R15 000.
But the Monday when they were supposed to check out, they told Turnkey 360 that they would be staying on for free.
They said they were occupying the house to raise awareness about inequality and the safety of queers, women and children on the Cape Flats.
Yesterday, the queer group said their invasion had proved a point.
Vatheka Halile, 32, told the Daily Voice she may be homeless now but they have managed to “expose the injustices of the system”.
“We wanted to show that land injustices and social inequality is the main issue in South Africa,” said Vatheka.
“We didn’t just choose to be in this house, we knew the owner is rich and owns a lot of properties, he’s not even in the country, he has a big house in Ireland.
“He doesn’t need this house, we are not fighting the private property owners but the system which protects the economy.”
She said she has experienced the stark difference between life in the township and the posh suburbs.
“If we were in the township, we would have been violently evicted but here we were requested to vacate the property and even asked if we would leave or stay,” she says.
“The court order stated that the charges incurred would double so we would pay double for each day we stay beyond today.
“We could have been arrested also, so we chose to leave even though we have nowhere else to go.”
A taxi full of supporters from Khayelitsha arrived up at the house.
Sibusiso Xabangela, holding his five-year-old child in his arms, shouted: “We have been coming here for two weeks and we love it here. I have even brought my daughter so she can see how beautiful the other side of Cape Town is.
“I have illegally occupied land in Khayelitsha, I didn’t know that in the very same town where there are shacks and violence there is actually a heaven that is Camps Bay.”
Turnkey said they were still assessing damages to the house and will issue a statement in due course.