Tongaat Mall developer ignored court order

2013-11-24 11:19
Rescue workers at the site of a collapsed mall construction site in Tongaat. (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

Rescue workers at the site of a collapsed mall construction site in Tongaat. (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

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Durban - The developer building the Tongaat Mall, which collapsed last week killing two people, ignored a summons issued six days prior to the tragedy to cease work on the site.

According to the Sunday Times, construction on the mall in Tongaat was scheduled for completion in April by the developer Rectangle Property Investments.

However the owner, Daniel Jagadasan Singh, ignored summonses issued by the Durban High Court and continued to build.

The eThekwini municipality has been trying to stop construction since March.

It emerged last week however, that Singh has been the subject of investigations since 2009.

He allegedly stole his dead brother’s identity in a bid to avoid being charged for having defrauded development bank Ithala out of R80m.

He was also fined in 1997 for having offered a bribe to have shoddy construction work overlooked.

Cabinet on Thursday called for a rigorous investigation into the mall collapse. A large section of the mall collapsed on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring 29 others.

'Shoddy'

Last week, The Witness revealed that two of Singh’s housing developments - Burbreeze and Hammonds Farm - were slated in a recent city investigation, the Manase Report, for “shoddy” building standards and how the family had scored over R500m in city contracts.

Jay Singh and his family trust were also directors of Rectangle Investments until earlier this year.

Neither Singh nor his son could be contacted for comment. A person answering their phones said they were “on site” and cut the call when they realised they were speaking to journalists.

Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the mayor of eThekwini had told him earlier of his concern over the tragedy as the city was involved in a court case involving the owner of the property.

eThekwini deputy mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala, speaking to e.tv on Tuesday night, said the municipality had obtained a court interdict last month to prevent construction going on at the site.

Shabalala claimed she did not know the name of the company.


Read more on:    durban  |  tongaat mall collapse

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