The South African National Defence Union (SANDU) has condemned the alleged illegal evictions of residents from the abandoned Marivale military base in Nigel, east of Johannesburg.

It says the push from the SANDF to reclaim the base may have to do with new coal mining projects in the area. Civil rights organisation Right 2 Know is supporting the community.

Members of the military have put out many of them in the cold despite a court order instructing them to stop the evictions.

In a tweet, national secretary of SANDU Pikkie Greeff, described the evictions as unlawful.

“The SANDF like any other owner of property or controller of property cannot simply evict people by force; they need to follow the legal process and it seems that residents are being threatened with unlawful evictions and it seems some of them have actually been evicted. We condemn in the strongest possible terms illegal and unlawful actions of the SANDF and we call on the SANDF management to ensure that the rights of all people are respected.”