Council, club in row over golf course

2013-10-24 00:00

THE Matatiele Golf Club and the local municipality are at loggerheads over the latter’s support for a proposal to develop a shopping mall on the golf course.

The club has asked the Pietermaritzburg high court to interdict the Matatiele Municipality and Gauteng-based company The Matatiele Development (Pty) Ltd from “denying or disturbing” its use and enjoyment of the golf course that it leases from the municipality.

Judge N. Radebe said she will deliver judgment on November 1. She was told yesterday by advocate Lawrence Combrink, representing the golf club, that the development company had “capitulated” and agreed to an order being granted against it.

However, council continued to oppose the application for an interdict with advocate Andrew Duminy arguing the municipality’s actions were all above board and that there was no need for an order against it.

When the municipality had signed a notarial lease agreement with the development company in question in 2011, it was on the condition that the development would only go ahead if the company reached agreement with the golf club, and accommodated the club, he said.

Duminy submitted it was the company — not the municipality — that infringed the rights of the golf club by trying to “intimidate” the club when it opposed the development.

Matatiele businessman Robert Wolff said in July 2011 the club was told of plans to develop a shopping centre on the course and asked if they objected.

At a subsequent presentation it emerged the proposal entailed the demolition and re-building of the club house, and relocation of “three or four” golf holes. Members voted in November to reject the development.

Wolff said it was “galling” that there is ample council property available for the development of a shopping centre in Matatiele.

Matatiele municipal manager Damian Nakin said the council decided in 2011 to expand the commercial centre of Matatiele and invited tenders.

The company in question had identified a “relatively small portion of the golf course as being the optimum position” for its development.

He said, however, when the tender was awarded, the company was aware of, and undertook, to accommodate the rights of the golf club.

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