Western Cape High Court Judge Judith Cloete has ruled that an interdict, prohibiting Reclaim the City activists from protesting at a property owned by Growthpoint Properties, should not be granted.

A News24 report notes that in December, 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 ‘discount’.

On the same day, after an urgent application from Growthpoint, Judge Kate Savage granted an interim interdict against the protesters. The application was granted ex parte and has been extended on several occasions.

The applicant's advocate, Sean Rosenberg SC, had previously asked Cloete to confirm the earlier interdict.

But Advocate Ria Matsala, who represented Reclaim the City and Unite Behind, 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.

Delivering her judgment on Friday, Cloete found that Growthpoint's regional asset manager for the Western Cape, Tim Irvine, did not disclose all the relevant facts to the court in his founding affidavit, says News24.

‘What cannot be disputed is that the real purpose of the protest must have been known to Irvine,’ Cloete said. In his affidavit, Irvine said the protesters were unknown to him.

But, pictures shown in court showed the protesters holding banners with Reclaim the City's logo.

Furthermore, an attorney acting on behalf of the protesters, Jonathan Clogger of Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre, made contact with Growthpoint's attorney and asked to take instruction from the protesters on the site. This was not reflected in the founding affidavit.

Cloete agreed the original application ‘breached the duty of utmost good faith’ that an ex parte application requires. She said there was clearly no ‘dire urgency’.

Growthpoint were ordered to pay the costs.

Full News24 report