Durban 'business forum' leader jailed for contempt of court

2018-07-20 16:37


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The leader of a "business forum" who repeatedly stormed the site of a massive water pipeline project in Durban, disrupting work, has been jailed for contempt of court.

Durban High Court Judge Philip Nkosi on Friday ordered the sheriff to take Siphiwe Ngcobo into custody. He is to spend 45 days in prison and will serve the time over weekends – between 17:00 on Fridays and 07:00 on Mondays.

Ngcobo heads up the "Ward 27 Business Forum".

Icon Construction, the contractor on the Newlands West site – which forms the fifth phase of the Northern Aqueduct Augmentation Project - secured interim and then final interdicts against the group.

In an affidavit before the court, contracts manager Barry Elsmore-Carey said the interim interdict to stop further disruptions on the site was granted in December last year.

Prior to it being finalised at the end of January, Ngcobo had come to the site to demand work.

"The interim interdict was explained to him and the fact that he could be arrested for being on site. He replied that he was aware of it, but we would lock him up at our peril."

During March, staff on the site were twice threatened by members of the business forum and, on the second occasion, the final interdict was served on those present, including Ngcobo.

In early May, Ngcobo and others again arrived at the site, forcing their way through security and physically assaulting guards. They demanded to be involved in the contract.

While others had hidden their faces with balaclavas and hats to avoid being filmed by the cameras installed on the site, Ngcobo's uncovered face had been caught on camera.

The following day, they came back and made the same demands, effectively shutting down the site for the day.

'He shows no regard for court orders'

The next day, they came back again, but police prevented them from accessing the site.

Elsemore-Carey said officials from the eThekwini Municipality were were told that if work did not stop, people on the site would be injured or worse so, the municipality had issued a notice to suspend work.

"He shows no regard for court orders and it's time for severe steps to be taken against him," he said.

The contempt application papers was served on Ngcobo while he was in police custody, after being arrested on a criminal charge relating to the site disruptions.

He did not file opposing papers and did not come to court on Friday to explain why he shouldn't be jailed.

Attorney Peter Barnard, acting for Icon Construction, said: "It's about time that individuals who disregard court orders be taken to task and be held accountable.

"The law has to come with a heavy hand and approach, failing which court orders will just be ignored."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    durban  |  courts  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Audit Senior / Bookkeeper to Trial Balance

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Placement Point (Pty) Ltd
R15 000.00 - R21 000.00 Per Month

Key Accounts - IT

Southern Shore Recruitment
R15 000.00 - R25 000.00 Per Month

Sales Representative- Knysna

George - Knysna
George Employment Consultants
R15 000.00 Per Month Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.