Group wins landmark pothole case

2011-06-28 21:44
Johannesburg - The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ordered the municipality in Delmas to repair potholes on the R55 to Ogies within 72 hours from Tuesday, according to a lawyer for the Society for the Protection of our Constitution.

Society spokesperson Mohamed Vawda said this was the first order of its kind and set a precedent for other municipalities.

Advocate Zehir Omar, who represented the society said about two or three years ago, Vawda and Willem Harmse, also of the society, complained about the state of the busy road, to the municipality and transport department authorities to no avail.

"It is used by truck drivers, the rural community use it. Last week a truck swerved to avoid a pothole and crashed into another truck and two people died," said Omar.

"There was not a murmur in the media or anywhere else," said Omar.

Vawda and Harmse then made the application and Judge Naren Pandya, appeared apprehensive at first.

"But attention was drawn to people dying and the real risk of people dying and the judge was persuaded," said Omar.

He said if the Victor Khanye Municipality (Delmas) failed to abide by the order, he would apply for an order that the mayor and his executive committee be jailed for 30 days.

Vawda and Omar created a stir when, in a low profile application they managed to get the words "shoot the boer" declared prima facie incitement to murder, unconstitutional and unlawful, by Judge Leon Halgryn at the same court.

Judgment is still awaited on a separate case against ANC Youth League president Julius Malema who went on trial for hate speech at the Equality Court in Johannesburg over the words.

AfriForum Youth set that trial in motion after Malema sang the lyrics several times around the country.

Pandya was not immediately available to confirm the granting of the order and the municipality was not able to comment on Tuesday afternoon.

- SAPA
Read more on:    transport  |  service delivery

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