Chappies interdict application dismissed

2012-03-09 20:11

Cape Town - An urgent application to stop construction on the Chapman's Peak toll plaza in Cape Town was dismissed - with costs - by the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

Judge Rosheni Allie ruled that the applicants, the Hout Bay Residents' Association and the Habitat Council, could have applied for an interdict at an earlier stage.

"I am of the view that the applicants were aware as early as September last year that Western Cape premier Helen Zille and Transport MEC Robin Carlisle intended to continue with the project and with the construction," she said.

"[Instead], the applicants chose to rely on a suggestion by SA National Parks CEO David Mabunda that there would be an application for deproclamation underway."

At the time, they chose not to bring an application and could therefore not suddenly now bring an urgent application.

Their application also did not comply with proper procedures, as inadequate time had been given for a sufficient response to the 346-page filing paper.

The respondents were Entilini, of which Murray and Roberts is a senior partner, SANParks, Zille, Carlisle and Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

Advocate Sean Rosenberg, for Zille and Carlisle, earlier told the court his team had been given too little time to compile arguments.

"If it sounds querulous and complaining, then so be it," he said.

He also said it was strange that the applicants had referred to the threat to fynbos on the site when it had hardly been mentioned in their affidavit.

"That allegation is almost lost amongst other allegations. It occupies a very modest place in this."

Advocate Jeremy Muller, for the applicants, had said that 500 square metres of granite fynbos could be irretrievably lost.

He said the impact on vegetation had not been properly assessed in an environmental process and called on the court to take a risk-averse approach.

However, Allie found that due environmental processes had been followed.

She said that at this stage she could not consider the prospects of the applicant's case, as not all the respondents had been able to submit their replies.

A court date will be confirmed for April for the normal interdict application to be heard.

The applicants were ordered to pay the costs of their counsel.

Carlisle welcomed the ruling in a statement later on Friday.

He said the ruling was an affirmation of his long-standing view that the project had been carried out lawfully and in accordance with due process.

The Cape Argus reported on Friday that Carlisle intended to sue Hout Bay resident's association chairman Len Swimmer for defamation.

This was regarding comments Swimmer made in an interview with the newspaper two weeks ago.

Swimmer alleged that Carlisle convinced Entilini to compromise on certain things and in return the company could build an office block as a "sweetener".

Swimmer also claimed Murray & Roberts had made large donations to the Democratic Alliance -- but he did not expand on the relevance of this.

Carlisle's lawyers claimed these comments were "intended to mean that our client is guilty of conduct unbecoming to acceptable norms of personal behaviour", the newspaper reported.

Swimmer's legal team said demands to retract the statement were declined as they were lacking in basis.

Swimmer told the newspaper he had not accused Carlisle of corruption.

  • Andres - 2012-03-09 20:20

    NIMBY's score 0.

  • Citroes - 2012-03-09 20:20

    Its a pity they Hout Bay group lost. Just shows you - the DA is just a lighter version of the ANC. Like the ANC, they do whatever they feel like.

      Angle - 2012-03-11 18:50

      Sorry Suzanne you got your facts wrong . Entitling is paying most of the 54 million and the money invested by the province will be recouped from tolls.

  • Karen - 2012-03-09 20:41

    Wonderful !! Message to you Hypocrites! Now please go and find real issues to deal with! You are surrounded by hundreds of shacks clinging to mountainsides with no proper sanitation, services etc etc. Please spend your money on their plight!! Not some issue where you won't tolerate a little building on yr precious 'protected area' which is actually not so 'protected' since you are quite happy with the road hewn through your 'protected' area!! God forfend if you have to 'drive around'!!

      Michael White - 2012-03-10 00:26

      Doesn't this then defeat the purpose of declaring something a national park? Because that also costs money, clearly for nothing if its meaningless and the rules can be pushed aside. I don't really care about them building this building, it is a bit excessive and all that yes, but what bugs me is how easily they can build on land that was signed away in a way that makes it virtually impossible to rezone for building etc. Should make one wonder just how protected our supposed reserves really are and how long they will stay that way for.

      suzanne.stokes - 2012-03-11 11:46

      Actually Karen, you're one of the many outsiders pointing fingers at us Hout Bay residents, claiming we're fighting over the land and not the people. If you had joined us during the protests you would have had the chance to read our banners saying don't use R54 million of tax payers money to build a ridiculously offensive office block on our mountain but rather use the money to help us CONTINUE to support the communities within Hangberg and Imizama Yethu. As you dont reside in our tight community you don't see how much we like to assist each other in this regard. We give food, money, clothing and furniture continuously in support of the people in this poorer area's. So what the residents of Hout Bay really wanted was to compromise and build and environmentally less impactful, modest office block and give the rest of the cash to those who need it the most.

  • lydonmcg - 2012-03-09 20:44

    Victory for logic! Now hopefully this will be of the last we hear from Mr. Swimmer and his band of fools with nothing better to do with their time.

  • Tracy - 2012-03-13 19:28

    Sorry Angle - posted March 11, 2012 - the R54 million is the amount that the public will be paying, not Entilini.

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