Interdict against neighbour

2008-12-07 00:00

A Hilton woman whose neighbour allegedly regarded her as an “enemy” for making an affidavit against him and behaved in “intolerable and frightening” ways to upset her family and dogs was granted an urgent interim interdict by high court Judge Mohini Murugasen on Friday.

Nurse Karen Lister said the activities of her neighbour, Stephen Julius Peter, were greatly upsetting for her family.

They had gone to great lengths to avoid a confrontation, she said, but felt they no longer had any option but approach the court.

One of his recent alleged actions was to stand at their fence at night and run his chainsaw. Not only was this extremely noisy, but it was done in such a manner as to appear extremely threatening, said Lister.

“The situation is intolerable. It is extremely distressing to have activities which are threatening taking place immediately outside of your garden and front gate.

“My daughter does not feel confident in going into the garden and is frightened to sleep in her own bed.”

Lister said she is anxious Peter “may do something dramatic”.

She is supported in her case by the uMngeni Municipality, on whose behalf she made an affidavit in a recent case that the municipality brought to stop Peter from operating an illegal panelbeating business from his home.

Judge Murugasen granted an interim order interdicting Peter from threatening, intimidating or harassing Lister and her family, and from causing any nuisance and creating any undue noise in the vicinity of Lister’s residence.

Lister said that from the time the municipality launched a court application to stop Peter’s business operation to the granting of a final order against him on September 17, he appeared to identify her and her family “as an enemy” and began to harass, threaten and intimidate them.

This took the form of verbal abuse, conduct designed to wake them in the middle of the night and make a noise aimed at irritating and upsetting them and their dogs.

His alleged actions included causing vehicles to backfire next to the garden wall; forcing her to drive her vehicle off the road; hammering on his roof “for no apparent reason”; parking at their gate and “glaring” at them; and revving a motorcycle and other vehicles incessantly.

He also allegedly let off fireworks against their common boundary wall, rang the bell at their gate repeatedly in the early hours and made anonymous phone calls at night.

He also allegedly burnt oily rubble and waste directly against the fence, causing the smoke and fumes to billow into Lister’s garden, and provoked her dogs to make them bark.

Once he used his leaf blower in such a way that clouds of soil were blown over the fence, she said.

Lister said she had hoped the situation would die down and “sense would prevail”, but in October matters flared up again and Peter ran a number of industrial machines at one time.

When her husband and young daughter went to swim, he allegedly let off thunder-flashes, which frightened her child.

Lister said the matter was urgent as it seemed from Peter’s conduct that legal proceedings “egged” him on and she feared his actions could escalate once papers were served on him.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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