Motion lodged to overturn KDM sale of land for mall development

2017-09-20 06:00

A MOTION has been lodged in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to review and set aside the decision taken by the KwaDukuza Municipality (KDM) to sell property, formerly the KwaDukuza Golf Course, Country Club and Recreation Grounds, to Double Ring Trading 7 for the development of the KwaDukuza Mall and Civic Precinct.

The motion was brought by applicant Cassim Moola, with the full support of the Concern Citizens Group (CCG) which he is part of, against the municipality, the developer and the Registrar of Deeds KwaZulu-Natal.

Court papers were lodged on Thursday, 7 September and the matter will come before court on 11 October.
The reason behind the motion is the claim that in the tender specifications by KDM, at no point was a sale of the land mentioned.

In the founding affidavits Moola states: “In the document headed ‘Golf Course Re-development Project - Stage 1: Expression of Interest’ (annexure “A”) it is stated that the successful developer shall be required to enter into an agreement with the first respondent (KDM) in order to implement the project as outlined in the tender specifications. I respectfully point out that neither annexure “A” nor annexure “B” [both attached to the founding affidavits] referred to above makes any mention of the sale of the property to the preferred bidder.

“I respectfully submit that this aspect is of crucial importance as any prospective bidder’s interest (or not) in the project would be premised on the understanding that the sale of the property to the successful bidder is not on the table. The second respondent (Double Ring Trading 7) was short listed as a preferred tenderer and at the end of the process was awarded the tender by the first respondent to proceed with the project. In [or during this time] February 2017 I heard that a decision had been made to sell the property to the second respondent for the sum of R9 million.

“I conclude that such a sale would be unlawful as the terms of reference of the bidding process did not make any mention that the property would be sold.

“Such a sale would circumvent the lawful procedures applicable to a sale of this nature.”

The CCG has been locked in legal battles with the developer Double Ring Trading 7 and KwaDukuza Municipality over the development for more than a year.

The group attempted to stop the developer from starting work on site earlier this year, however, the court application was dismissed with costs which resulted in Vivian Reddy launching a R28 million damages claim against the CCG in May.

Commenting on the summons received by CCG members from Reddy, CCG chairperson Haroon Mohammedy confirmed that they are being sued and will defend the case.

“Our advocate has sent two notices of motion to the developers regarding certain sections of the law wanting additional information and they were given 15 days to respond. It has gone well passed one month now and they have not responded. The next step for us would be to compel them to forward us the information through the court.

“We went throught the process, they issued us with a summons, we put in the notice to defend and now we are waiting. That will be an ongoing process as well.”

With regard to the R28 million, Reddy has reiterated that he will distribute all damages awarded in a court of law to charities in the region once the legal proceeding have concluded.

“I concluded that such a sale would be unlawful as the terms of reference of the bidding process did not make any mention that the property would be sold.”

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