Inhabiting the Ruins of the City of Tshwane




Schubart Park, spatial justice, ruination, inhabitance, City of Tshwane, Justice Froneman


In the inner city of Tshwane stand the skeletons of four high-rise buildings – the remains of Schubart Park. While there are no more people inside the ruins of these buildings, they contain the stories of the relations between a city and its inhabitants. In 2012 Justice Froneman wrote the judgment that ordered that the inhabitants of Schubart Park should be reinstated in their former homes, after they were evicted by the City of Tshwane in 2011. More than ten years after his judgment, there is (again) a plan to move the former residents back. From a spatial justice perspective and through Ann Stoler's work on ruination, Chris Butler's call for inhabiting the ruins and Ivan Vladislavić's short story We Came to the Monument, I reflect on how court judgments stand between the possible and the impossible. I call for a re-imagination of the ways in which the municipality can relate to the inhabitants of the City and argue that Justice Froneman enables this re-imagination through his judgment in Schubart Park.


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Author Biography

Isolde de Villiers, University of the Western Cape

Associate Professor, Department of Public Law and Jurisprudence, University of the Western Cape.




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Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

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How to Cite

de Villiers, I. (2024). Inhabiting the Ruins of the City of Tshwane. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 27, (Published on 11 June 2024) pp 1–15.



Special Edition: A Tribute to Justice Froneman

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