‘Death mall’ owners’ son to oppose contempt application

2013-12-19 11:10

The eThekwini municipality has gone to court to try and nail Tongaat “death mall” developer Jay Singh’s Rectangle Property Investments for contempt of court for going ahead with building despite two stop orders issued against it.

Ravi Jagadasan will oppose the matter.

The city has asked the Durban High Court to jail Singh’s son and Rectangle boss, Jagadasan, for ignoring the interim and final orders to stop building the R208 million mall, which collapsed on November 19, killing two workers and injuring scores of others.

They have also asked the court for alternative measures including fining Jagadasan and Rectangle, one of Singh’s construction and property management companies.

The city believes that Jagadasan “caused the company to wilfully disobey” the court orders and that he should therefore be held personally responsible for whatever illegal or irregular activities it was involved in.

Yesterday, the city’s attorneys served notice of the application on Jagadasan, who has indicated that he will oppose the matter, which will be heard on February 14.

Singh and his companies are also the target of a criminal investigation into culpable homicide charges, along with probes by the Department of Labour and the National Home Builders Regulatory Council (NHBRC) for carrying out construction projects valued at hundreds of millions of rands without being accredited for it.

One of Singh’s other companies, Gralio Precast, was implicated in the Manase Report into tender corruption and maladministration in the municipality.

In papers, the city said that it had gone to court earlier this year to stop the mall project because the company had begun work on it without council approval.

However, city inspectors who had visited the site found that construction had continued after the September court order banning any further work.

A follow-up inspection late in October also found that work was still going on and the city sent Jagadasan another letter telling him to stop.

He ignored the letter and did not go back to court for the return date of the application.

Work continued until the mall collapsed on November 19.

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