Judgment reserved in Reclaim the City versus Growthpoint case

2019-06-03 21:08


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

Judgment was reserved on Monday in a case pitting social justice activists against wealthy property developers in Cape Town. 

On December 4, 2018, a group of around 30 protesters from Reclaim the City, Unite Behind and the Social Justice Coalition occupied a parking lot at the bottom of Loop Street in the Cape Town. The land is owned by Growthpoint Properties, which it obtained from the City of Cape Town in 2016 at what Reclaim the City claims was a low price.

On the same day, after an urgent application from Growthpoint Properties, Western Cape High Court Judge Kate Savage granted an interim interdict against the protesters. The application was granted ex parte – meaning not all the parties to the matter were heard. 

On Monday, Advocate Sean Rosenberg SC for the applicants, Growthpoint Properties, asked Judge Judith Cloete of the Western Cape High Court to confirm the earlier interdict. 

Advocate Ria Matsala, for the interested parties Reclaim the City and Unite Behind, argued that this should not be done.

Rosenberg argued that "the occupiers were on site to occupy" for an undetermined time, and that their motivations were immaterial. He said it was private property.

Matsala argued that the applicants – in their initial application – failed to state all the material facts before the court and breached the good faith required by an applicant in an ex parte matter.

"It's clear that certain facts were misconstrued or misrepresented to the court," Matsala said. 

She added that the applicant had not put it before the court that what was taking place was a protest – a constitutionally enshrined right. 

Matsala further argued that the protesters would not have been unknown to the respondent, as they had banners and wore T-shirts with their organisations' names. 

She said that the applicants had failed to disclose that they approached the interested parties' attorney - Jonty Clogger - and informed him that they intended to ask for an interdict, adding that they had also accused the interested parties' attorney of unethical and unlawful conduct. 

Rosenberg argued that the proceedings were not intended to reconsider Savage's earlier ruling. He said the interested parties had the opportunity to "vindicate their rights" on the return date of the interim interdict.

"There is no question of the affected parties not given the opportunity to vindicate their rights," he said. 

"No sustainable argument was put up that the interdict was not warranted."

He said an email from Clogger to Growthpoint's attorney on the day in question was included in the application for the interdict, so it was put before the court that they were in contact with the interested parties' attorney.

"We would submit that there was appropriate disclosure," he said.

Cloete reserved judgment and extended the interim interdict.

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

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    growthpoint  |  cape town  |  land

Join the conversation!

24.com 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
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 24.com 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.