Acting Judge Lesley Weinkove yesterday dismissed the City of Cape Town’s application in the Western Cape High Court for leave to appeal his earlier judgement in the South Road and MyCiti matter.
South Road Families’ Association (SRFA) spokesperson Laurie Peregrino says they are elated, as the judge was not persuaded by the argument of the City representive in court as “he tried to almost corner the judge into making a decision as to whether the City public participation process was legal or illegal”.
“As far as he (the judge) was concerned, the matter stands as it is. He feels that no other court would have decided differently and therefore he has dismissed the City’s application for leave to appeal with cost,” Peregrino says.
Peregrino says they had faith and that at this stage they were pleased to “have had a judge who had used his head and heart in this matter”.
“We now have to sit back and take cognisance of where we are and confer with our legal representive on the road going forward,” he says.
Peregrino says the judgement is not only good for South Road residents as there are many other communities suffering similar plights.
“All those other communities under the leadership of the City and province must take heart from this matter and stand together and understand – if a few families in South Road in Wynberg can achieve this then there is nothing they cannot achieve themselves,” he says.
People’s Post previously reported that the SRFA had expressed its dismay at the decision by the City to seek leave to appeal a recent court decision regarding evictions for a new MyCiTi route (“City seeks to appeal court order”, 27 October).
“We have great respect for the courts and the judicial system. It is also not our desire to litigate against residents. Had the judgment given a clear indication or direction as to how the City’s extensive public consultation process was lacking and what would be required in order to remedy this, we would no doubt have followed those instructions and would not be appealing,” the City said.
At the time Peregrino said that they were disappointed at the news of the appeal.
“This is a miserable day for us. All we want is for the City to engage in meaningful public participation and to genuinely consider alternative routes. Instead of applying themselves to the judgement, they waste taxpayers’ money to appeal,” he said.
According to the municipality, in their view the judgement wasn’t clear and they were left with no choice but to appeal.
“We are of the opinion that the said dispute deals with the nature of the obligations imposed by the Constitution and the Local Government Municipal Systems Act on the City in facilitating public participation, and whether the City has met those obligations. It is of cardinal importance to identify the scope of those obligations and how they should be properly executed in realising the vision of transparent, accountable and participatory governance as enshrined in our constitution.”
Peregrino highlighted the cancellation of leases and demolition of properties were done before public participation started.