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Durban Paddle Ski Club members were on Friday threatening to take legal action after their privately owned paddle skis were seized by the sheriff of the court on Thursday.
The sheriff, acting on behalf of the Durban Point Development Company (DPDC), attached goods to settle a R266 000 bill the club owes the company in litigation costs.
On Friday morning, club chairman Johnny Vassilaros, said he was busy with his legal team – members had yet to decide if action should be taken collectively or individually.
He said they were also still exploring the type of legal action that could be taken against the DPDC.
Vassilaros said the club had obtained an interdict that prevented the sheriff from taking away boats belonging to members.
“The sheriff refused to consider the interdict and told the club that they had received instructions. Now there is an interdict instructing them to return the boats because they do not belong to the club but to the members,” he said.
The sheriff removed about 40 privately owned boats – valued at about R8 000 each.
Vassilaros said the focus had shifted from recovering debt to one of vindictive action.
The DPDC has been locked in several legal battles with the club and the allied Save Vetch’s Association over its development plans for the Point precinct, which include the construction of a small craft harbour.
The club’s attorney, Michael Jackson, said the company had initially demanded about R900 000 for its cost.
However, this had been reduced to R266 000 10 days ago.
Jackson was informed on Thursday that the sheriff was at the club attaching and removing movables.
An old steel cabinet, a plastic table, about 40 chairs and a lawnmower were taken from the club.
Jackson wrote to the DPDC’s lawyer and said the club would pay its debt in instalments of R10 000 a month.
“Members have to go to court to prove ownership of the boats. An order was granted last night to prevent the sheriff from removing other boats still remaining at the club.
“The club and members had a storage agreement for their boats to be kept on the property. The offer to pay the debt in instalments was not accepted and the club was not even served with a notice about attaching goods,” he said.
Jackson said the club would learn next week if the final order, to have the boats returned, would be granted at the Durban High Court.