David Polovin, the deputy chairperson of the Sea Point Fresnaye and Bantry Bay Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, made a brief appearance at the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court last week.
He is accused of allegedly accessing the financial information of a neighbour without her consent.
Mr Polovin is an attorney who consults with Kritzinger and Co Attorneys.
He is also the director of Cottonwood Technologies and owns a property in Kloof Road, Bantry Bay.
The charge sheet reads: “At no stage did the complainant authorise and/ or permit the accused to access her private and confidential information.
“The accused could not provide a consent form filled in by the complainant where she authorised access to her credit record.”
The charge sheet went on to read that, “the accused has access to a Trans Union website via a Law Data System called ‘SearchWorks’ which enables access to financial information of clients and/ or other parties”.
However, Mr Polovin maintains that the matter was all about “a simple credit check”.
On the case, Mr Polovin said: “There are thousands of credit checks done routinely throughout the country every day, and we unequivocally believe that no offense whatever was committed on this occasion.
“The complaint makes no sense.”
According to Mr Polovin, the matter is actually about a garage that was built by the complainant.
“The garage was a dangerous hazard to all other road users on a busy Kloof Road. It meant having to reverse into the road and then engaging forward gear to pull away, within 100 meters of a blind corner and in the path of fast moving, oncoming traffic.”
He said that the garage had been rejected by the ratepayers’ association.
When the Atlantic Sun approached the Sea Point Fresnaye and Bantry Bay Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, they declined to comment, saying that the matter was a private one.
The Atlantic Sun also contacted Kritzinger & Co Attorneys, who declined to comment.
According to the charge sheet, the punishment for this crime, if found guilty, is a fine or a period of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months.
Advocate Philip Higgo, representing Mr Polovin, said he was amazed the matter had made it all the way to the criminal court. “In our view, there is no criminal offence that has happened.” He said they would further study the evidence that the state had provided.
The matter was postponed until Tuesday April 25.
This is not the first time Mr Polovin has found himself in the spotlight. Last year, Reclaim The City supporters lodged a racism complaint against him after he had an opinion piece published in the Weekend Argus titled “Hands Off Tafelberg”. However, the complaint did not come to anything and was dismissed by the Mayor of Cape Town and the Human Rights Commission declined to follow up the complaint.
Jared Rossouw, co-director of Ndifuna Ukwazi, told the Atlantic Sun: “It is nearly a year since Mr Polovin wrote a public letter saying that there is no place for affordable housing for poor and working class people in Sea Point.
“So many residents have come out in support of the idea since.
“We can’t comment on what he does in his private or professional life, but as a public figure we think Sea Point needs leaders who will stand up for an inclusive vision of the community and represent the interests of all residents, including tenants.”
This statement follows discontent that the ratepayers are not representative of all the residents in the area. A new group called Sea Point For All was formed by residents towards the end of last year.
Member of the group, Isa Jacobson, said: “Integrity is crucial when you hold a position like Polovin does on our ratepayers’ (association) and one’s conduct must be beyond reproach.
“Last year, a racism complaint was laid against him by Reclaim the City supporters and now he faces criminal charges.
“We need a ratepayers’ (association) whose decisions can be trusted and has the best interests of Sea Point at heart. By that I mean all of Sea Point, not just the privileged residents.”