Bid to stop builder leaving

2008-12-22 00:00

A Pietermaritzburg couple, Brian Majola and his wife, Phindile Sibiya, approached the high court here yesterday for an urgent interim order to prevent their building contractors from leaving South Africa to emigrate.

In an affidavit Majola said the application was intended to ensure that the builders — Christo and Colleen Boshoff, trading as JOAT Construction — complete his house according to their contract.

He says the dispute may have to be resolved by arbitration.

But court papers revealed that Christo Boshoff flew to Australia on Sunday. His wife is due to leave on January 18.

After discussions between the legal teams, Judge Kevin Swain granted an order adjourning the dispute to January 5.

By then, Majola and Sibiya must respond to allegations made by Boshoff in his affidavit in which he submitted they are not entitled to the legal relief they sought, which he described as “entirely unnecessary and frivolous”.

He submitted that even if the couple prove to have a valid claim against him — which he denies — he still owns property in Pietermaritzburg, which they can execute.

He maintains that Majola and Sibiya in fact breached their contract with him in various respects, and said this caused him to “validly” cancel the contract on November 19. He also alleges they still owe him money.

Boshoff said “problems” began to arise between him and the couple from August. At that time he alleged Sibiya began to insist on the use of finishes to the house for which the contract made no provision.

She said at a meeting that she expected the finishes to “match those of the houses [seen on TV show] Top Billing”, he said.

Boshoff alleges that Sibiya said she is a “Top Billing lady” and “can’t see why her home can’t look like one of those houses”.

He said he explained that the finishes in houses on the programme cost much more than what they were paying for the building of their house, but claims that in following months she continued to “harp on [about] the quality of finishes she wanted … ”.

In September, he alleged that, without consulting him, Majola caused earthworks to be done on the property for landscaping purposes and machinery was driven into the house, damaging a wall and the roof.

It was after that incident that Majola began to complain about “supposed defects and poor workmanship”, he said.

Boshoff denies he cancelled the contract to avoid his obligations so he could emigrate.

Boshoff said in his affidavit that if an interim interdict is granted [preventing him from leaving SA] the prejudice he would suffer would be “enormous”, and could not compare to any financial prejudice to Majola and Sibiya.

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