Bo-Kaap developers abandon interdict

Bo-Kaap residents outside the high court on Monday, May 27.

Bo-Kaap residents have claimed victory following the developer’s move to abandon its interdict application against the community on May 27.

On May 13, the Bo-Kaap community was in the Western Cape High Court opposing the substitution of ownership of 40 Lion Street by Blok Properties to Prime Point Properties.

According to the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association, Blok served the application on May 6 and the matter was set down for hearing on May 13.

Blok stated that the property at 40 Lion Street development had not been sold; the holding entity had merely changed. The court ruled that the developer could not transfer its interdict application to Prime Point Properties.

“Blok filed a narrow interdict against specific respondents who have led some of the attacks and intimidation at its site in order to protect staff and contractors as well as prevent any person violently and unlawfully obstructing access to the property from doing so,” said communications officer, Ashlea Evans.

Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association secretary, Jacky Poking said the application was brought on the eve of the Bo-Kaap’s victory of having 19 landmarks declared as national heritage sites by the national Department of Arts and Culture. She accused the developers of showing complete disrespect to the community during the month of Ramadaan.

“This is another victory for the people of Bo-Kaap and the community is elated by the fact that Blok has abandoned its substitution application.”

The application was opposed by Ms Poking who joined as a respondent with nine others in her personal capacity in the main application and she highlighted in her opposing affidavit that Blok had failed to disclose to the court that the property had been sold to Prime Point Properties in March 2018 prior to the July 2018 and November 2018 interdict applications.

They said the withdrawal means that there was no underlying cause for the interdict application to proceed.

The court requested the parties to meet before June 20 to discuss the further conduct of the matter and only come to argue costs on the day. “Although the costs awarded by the court are legal costs, the community has requested their legal team to raise the issue of costs for the trauma perpetuated against the community and the 10 community activists by the unbecoming conduct of Blokand their legal team,” they said.

They’ve vowed to argue that the court must send a clear message to developers who bring applications to censor, intimidate, and silence community activists by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence until they abandon their criticism or opposition or they interfere with legitimate organisations to operate in their communities.