The matter came before the Durban High Court on Tuesday, when Judge Jerome Mnguni granted an order against two of the five men named in court papers.
They were interdicted and restrained from “harassing, swearing, defaming, inciting racial hatred, intimidating, threatening, assaulting or otherwise interfering with” people at the Spar shopping centre in Inanda Road, Parlock or entering the shopping centre or parking area.
But there was a problem with the way in which the papers had been served on three of the men, and the judge declined to grant an order against them.
In his affidavit, Dr Abdool Cassim - who runs the Nucross Medical Centre in the shopping centre - described the men in question as “unemployed adult males who frequent the precincts of the centre and the car park section and purport to act as car guards”.
He said they had “harassed, abused in vile language, defamed, incited racial hatred, intimidated, threatened, as- saulted and interfered with” himself, his employees and others at the centre over the years.
Among the allegations against them, were that they had assaulted a security guard at the shopping centre; indecently assaulted two of the doctor’s employees; indecently assaulted a visitor to the shopping centre; stolen crates, wooden bases and manhole covers from the shopping centre’s premises; and kicked and jumped on the car of a visitor to the shopping centre.
“They forcefully hijack trolleys laden with goods, usually purchased by customers at the popular Spar supermarket at the centre, push same to the cars of such customers and demand payment for such ‘services’.
“When customers decline to pay their demanded fee, their conduct towards such customers have ranged from swearing loudly in vile language, to assaulting them,” Cassim said.
“Employees at the Spar supermarket located at the centre have repeatedly complained to their manager; of similar incidents of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the (men).
“Unfortunately, they are too daunted by the prospects of reprisals from the (men) in laying charges against them with the (police),” he said,
Cassim said in court papers that he had repeatedly reported the men’s alleged criminal activity at the centre to the police, in particular at the Newlands East police station, but police intervention had been ineffective in deterring them.
“Members of the (police) are reluctant to arrest the (men), given the fact that victims of their criminality are reluctant to lay charges for fear of reprisals,” he said.
Cassim said he had tried to speak to the men but that his “conciliatory attempt” had been met with a “violent reaction” from the them, and they swore at him and threatened to assault him.