Judgment reserved in activists battle with developers
Judgment was reserved yesterday in a case pitting social justice activists against wealthy property developers in Cape Town, according to a News24 report. On 4 December 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 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.
Advocate Sean Rosenberg SC for the applicants, Growthpoint Properties, asked Judge Judith Cloete of the Western Cape High Court to confirm the earlier interdict. Rosenberg argued ‘the occupiers were on site to occupy’ for an undetermined time, and that their motivations were immaterial. He said it was private property.
Advocate Ria Matsala, for Reclaim the City and Unite Behind, argued that the applicants – in their initial application – failed to state all the material facts 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.
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.
The interim interdict has been extended.
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