Residents vow to stop chaotic parties

2013-01-06 10:00

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It is one of Johannesburg’s most talked-about parties, ushering in 2013 and even making it to newspapers and radio stations – because it irritated some while others revelled in it.

But the future of such gatherings in the quiet suburb of Northcliff, in Johannesburg, hangs in the balance as angry residents vowed to stop parties like these in future.

The reason it angered residents is because an estimated 5?000 people crammed into a small cul-de-sac in one of Northcliff’s streets – apparently without permission from authorities.

Also this week, wholesale ticket outlet Computicket – which sold tickets to the gig – distanced itself from the unruly behaviour of revellers at the event and the fact that the organisers, Roksta Entertainment, did not get permission for the party.

Jan “Prince” Nyandeni, spokesperson for Roksta, said they would no longer respond to any questions about the event because of the “misinformation” about the party on social networks.

He reiterated, however, that they had the correct paperwork for the party and rejected claims that partygoers were unruly.

But residents have since formed a Concerned Residents Committee to find out how the organisers could have been allowed to sell tickets and hold a massive party in a residential area without relevant permits from authorities.

Gert du Preez, a member of the residents committee and the ward committee, said an “ugly” note has been stuck on the empty house where the party was held.

“We feel duped by our neighbours because it was not the first time they’ve had a party here in December. This was the fourth time.

A few days before the party the owners of the house informed residents in a letter that they would hold a 21st birthday party to be followed by a New Year’s Eve party, but that was not the truth because they sold tickets and made money and we felt disrespected as neighbours,” said Du Preez.

He said he knew the owner to be a nice person but that the house had remained empty for months although some renovations were done at the beginning of December, probably to prepare for the bash.

The party got out of control with revellers blocking driveways for four kilometres, littering the streets with beer bottles and partying until 8am the next morning.

The City of Johannesburg said it would slap the homeowners with a R50 000 fine to “deep clean” the adjacent park which has been left unusable due to broken bottles left strewn all over the area.

Roksta Entertainment’s Nyandeni would not respond on whether they would pay the R50?000 fine from the council to clean the park.

Northcliff councillor Steve Kotze said while they were happy about the fine imposed on the owners, it was a “pittance” compared to the ticket sales for the party.

Kotze estimated the organisers could have made anything between R700 000 and R1 million from gate takings as VIPs were charged R300 and ordinary guests R100 for a ticket.

“Residents said they saw some people fornicating next to parked cars and the noise was unbearable.We will never allow this to happen again. Last year the owners said they were having a party for their granny but it was a similar party although there weren’t this many people.

“Residents do not mind people enjoying themselves on New Year’s Eve but to have so many people confined in a small space and disrespecting residents is uncalled for,” said Kotze, adding that they would demand answers from the City of Johannesburg, the metro police and SAPS about why the party was allowed to continue.

He confirmed that there were no permits issued to the organisers and that as the local councillor, he would have known about the party.

“The organisers are lying about having obtained permits because City of Johannesburg’s Joint Operations Committee never received an application and I would have known because the committee would have sought a letter from me not objecting to the party,” said Kotze.

In a statement, Computicket said they were not responsible for getting permits from the council or other authorities and referred questions to Roksta Entertainment.

“It is the responsibility of the event organisers to manage the event, entrance to the event and all related matters. Computicket is merely a ticketing agency with a normal commercial agreement in place.

“In some instances, venues may not exist prior to ticket sales commencing. Computicket does not control the types of events organised and it does not determine event ticket prices charged for tickets,” the company said.

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