Solly Msimanga, Moeketsi Mosola off hook in mall row

EXECUTIVE mayor Solly Msimanga and city manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola are off the hook for now. Judge Nomsa Khumalo, in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, yesterday dismissed the application for contempt brought against the pair by informal traders from Denneboom Station.


Handing down judgment, Judge Khumalo said: “The applicant has failed to make any averments that can sustain an action against the respondents.

“As a result, the exception is upheld and the application for contempt against the third to the eighth respondents is dismissed,” she said.

This comes after legal representatives for stranded informal traders from Denneboom in Mamelodi on Monday proposed Msimanga and Mosola be charged for failing to comply with an earlier court order.

But when the judgment did not go in their favour, Anna-Marie de Vos SC, acting on behalf of the traders, immediately applied for leave to appeal.

Louise du Plessis of Lawyers for Human Rights told the Pretoria News that although Judge Khumalo ruled there wasn’t enough evidence against Mosola and Msimanga to have them joined in the application, the matter was more complicated than that.

“Just because we can’t place them at the site dragging traders off, it doesn’t say they are not in contempt.

“So we’ve applied for leave to appeal, because this issue needs to be sorted out to keep people in government structures responsible to ensure there is compliance to court orders. “It will be important to appeal for many people, because we see these contempt applications more against local governments and the government,” she said.

Chairperson of the informal traders Mary Choma said they remained hopeful that the truth would be revealed.

“We want to know who was responsible for us being thrown in the dirt.”We believe that our legal team will get to that, but for now we will continue with the fight, as giving up is not an option,” she said.

Lawyers for Human Rights is taking legal action against the City of Tshwane and Isibonelo Property Services, the company in charge of development at the Tshwane Regional Mall, for failure to honour the February10 court order granted in favour of 287 informal traders.

The order stipulated that they were to provide informal traders with containers to ply their trade.

Both parties were to provide containers for traders occupying fixed structures, provide space for those occupying informal stalls, and ensure proper ablution facilities, including communal water and electricity.

Instead, an ongoing fight has ensued as traders allege the city and Isibonelo Property Services not only failed to implement the order from February to September, but demolished stalls, some of which the traders had been occupying since 1960.

In the urgent application, they sought to hold the officials in contempt of the court order.

They are also demanding compensation for the demolition of the stalls, loss of stock and violation of human rights.


 

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