Bo-Kaap residents have accused property developer Blok Urban Living of underhanded tactics after the developer’s Western Cape High Court application to interdict residents from interrupting construction at its Lion Street site.
The application, before Judge Patrick Gamble, was for the interdict to be made permanent.
However, Judge Gamble found that the application had what seemed outstanding procedural issues which needed to be addressed, the absence of which could impede his ability to give a fair judgment on the matter.
In November, irate residents picketed against the development and against the delivery of a crane.
After heated arguments with police, the residents were met with force, including stun grenades and rubber bullets.
The developer’s lawyer had identified respondents in the second interdict application, which included nine protesters (five arrested), the Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood Watch and its chairperson.
After a short break, the developer’s lawyer said he realised he was not sufficiently prepared for the argument regarding the Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood Watch, but that the chairperson had been cited as saying “no crane will come into the Bo Kaap”.
Judge Gamble said the outstanding procedural issues needed to be addressed and the respondents needed to decide if they wished to be represented by the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association’s (Bokra) legal adviser or appoint their own counsel.
Bokra secretary Jacky Poking said the association was initially excluded from the application, but in December it requested to be joined to the legal proceedings as the eighth respondent.
She said several people were injured during the protest and five residents were arrested for contempt of the interim interdict order and a traffic offence.
“These persons were all unaware of the terms of the court order which had not been served on them. The charges against the five arrested were, however, withdrawn by the prosecutor. How can the developer’s advocate be unprepared while we are unsure what we are being accused of in these papers and what we may be charged with?
“These tactics are being used to traumatise the working-class people and we hope the judge will see that and dismiss this interdict.”
Poking said the matter had been set down for June 10 and the identified residents would decide to join or approach their own counsel.