Court blocks land thieves

2019-12-06 16:45


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An error. That’s why the land invasion took place this week in Bisley.

And it appears the only people who figured this out were the opportunistic land invaders.

Msunduzi Municipality and Ibhubesi Business Enterprises — which also owns land in the same area behind the Bisley Nature Reserve — obtained a temporary interdict in August to stop the invasions. However, when the matter returned to court in September, both parties forgot to state in a consent order that the interdict must be extended, so it lapsed.

On Thursday the municipality and the company went to court on an urgent basis to have the provisional interdict revived. Although the application was opposed, they succeeded.

It is against Norman Gabashe, Kenny Zuma, Mlondi Madlala, Mr Mthalane, Bo, Zithulele Bawane, Siyanda Mabija and “the unlawful invaders” of Farm Lamont Vale. Other interested parties have also been cited.

The application follows land invasions that started on Sunday.

Attorney Emerson Rooi explained in court papers that the initial matter was supposed to return to court in October. But since all the papers were not filed then, the municipality and the company removed it from the court roll.

Rooi said the collapsing of the order took place due to a “mutual oversight” on the part of both parties when preparing the consent order as they omitted a paragraph extending the interdict to the next hearing date.

He only found this out on Monday, after going through the previous court orders. This was necessitated because the invasions started on Sunday and police did not want to act unless there was a court order in place.

Rooi apologised to the court for any inconvenience caused by the oversight and requested that the order be reinstated. He said the main application involves the unlawful invasion of land owned by the municipality and the company.

Land invasion has become a serious and prevalent occurrence within the municipality’s jurisdiction, particularly in this area.

It is apparent, said Rooi, that the invaders intend to continue to unlawfully invade the land and are relying on the lapsed interdict to legitimise their unlawful land invasion.

They are also using this as a scare tactic to stop police from taking any action against their unlawful and illegal conduct. The issue, he added, is exacerbated by the fact that police previously indicated their reluctance to act in the absence of a court order.

Rooi said he was advised on Sunday that there were more crowds of people on the land intending to erect structures. He was also told that the invaders are also on neighbouring land and have machines on site clearing plots to commence with construction.

The municipal land serves as the access point from where the invaders gain entry and access to the surrounding properties, he said. The interdict is therefore critical, added Rooi.

Gabashe said in an affidavit that this case is not urgent. Previously, when the court was ready to hear the matter on an urgent basis, he said the municipality and the company decided to remove it from the court roll. “Thus the urgency came to an end,” he said.

Gabashe added that almost two months have gone by with no attempts by the municipality and the company to deal with this matter, which it regarded as urgent then.

This time the temporary interdict has been revived until it is discharged or confirmed.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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