River Club redevelopment interdict hearing on hold. file image
River Club redevelopment interdict hearing on hold. file image

Interdict hearing placed on hold for River Club redevelopment

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 24, 2021

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Cape Town - The application for an interdict to halt the redevelopment of the Liesbeek Riverine in the The River Club precinct, has been placed on hold as there is no judge available to hear the matter.

Proceedings were set to take place later this week at the Cape High Court.

The Observatory Civic Association and the Goringhaicona Khoi Khoin Indigenous Traditional Council have been rallying to stop the redevelopment, for various reasons including the fact that it is a heritage site. They have gained support from 56 000 people who have signed a virtual petition together with 60 organisations.

The land is to give way to Amazon headquarters.

Previously the City together with the Mayor told the Weekend Argus that the interdict process was a political ploy and that the land was underutilised.

It is home to a golf course and conference centre which will give way to a 150 000 square metre commercial complex.

Tauriq Jenkins, High Commissioner of the Goringhaicona Khoi Khoin Indigenous Traditional Council said since their application in August for an interdict to halt the process, they had hoped that the land would be managed by the State.

“We learned last week that Deputy Judge President Goliath, who was allocated to hear the case, has fallen ill.

“The Judge President declined to allocate it to another judge, which means that the hearing will not be taking place on the 24th and 25th of November. A date is still to be confirmed, Jenkins said.

“‘Although this is concerning, as the longer this court case is delayed, the more concrete is placed on site, we thought it helpful to share the following:

“The High Court review will decide on the appropriateness of the decision to allow the development to proceed. If it strikes out those decisions, it has the power to order the site to be returned to the state it was in when we first served our paper in August.

“The High Court review will be preceded by an interdict to halt any further construction whilst the High Court review proceedings hopefully will freeze any building activity on site.

“The Forest People’s Programme, an international NGO dedicated to empowering indigenous organisations to promote an alternative vision of how the environment should be managed, has applied to join the case as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to bring perspectives based on international law and indigenous people to the case.”

In August former Mayor Dan Plato said the City stood by its decision and that all criteria required would be met.

He added that those opposing the development had a self-interest agenda and were using it for petty politicking.

Bridget O’Donoghue, a heritage practitioner of the Heritage Impact Assessment for the River provided an affidavit stating the development would affect the heritage.

Weekend Argus

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