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Problems with their neighbour caused an elderly couple in Muckleneuk to turn to the Pretoria High Court in a desperate bid for help against their “abusive neighbour”.
Retired Unisa Professor Deon Fourie and his wife Felicia, said in court papers that neighbour Alexis Sandenbergh was making life very difficult for them.
Fourie, who will be 80 this year, and his wife had been living in peace and harmony in their Silver Street home for close to 40 years, when, in 2007, Sandenbergh moved in.
Fourie said in a statement before court that all went well until about a year ago, but they now feared their neighbour would harm them. Also, they had enough of his abusive language and building rubble lying around.
The Fourie home is on a pan handle directly behind the respondent’s property. Sandenbergh’s property fronts on the street and the Fouries have access to their property through a right of way (servitude).
The couple said that since April 1970 when they moved in, they had used the servitude without any problems.
They said they were in fact good neighbours with Sandenbergh up to early last year. The current problems were mostly sparked by building works and alterations Sandenbergh was making to his home.
Fourie said that during 2010 the neighbour “focused his destructive process on his own property, he removed his own irrigation system and uprooted part of his garden”. The building material remained on the sidewalk in front of the neighbour’s property, he said.
When his wife asked Sandenbergh to remove the rubble, saying it was a eye sore for their guests, he “angrily said the guests can look the other way”.
Fourie said by the end of June last year, the servitude was turned into a building site. “The actions he has taken have been directed at inconveniencing us, harassing us, taunting us and intimidating us. He is asserting his ownership of the ground traversed by the servitude.”
Fourie complained that Sandenbergh was making their lives a hell and had sworn at his wife.
Sandenbergh did not give his side of the story, but the parties came to a lengthy settlement agreement which was made an order of court.
Sandenbergh and Mrs Fourie undertook not to speak to each other directly, but via Mr Fourie.