Chicken owner cries foul

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Jabulani Mkwanazi is appealing against a court order to remove the chicken and geese he keeps on his Kelvin property. Photo: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - Jabu Mkwanazi, who has been disputing a court order he received for keeping poultry in his 2 000m² backyard, says he has been treated unfairly.

He claimed the neighbour who took him to court lied about him trading his chickens and geese.

In court papers, the neighbour claimed Mkwanazi’s home in Kelvin, Sandton, operated like a shop in Alexandra, with a queue of people waiting to buy chickens.

Mkwanazi said this had never been the case. His permit, which had been valid since 2009, was still active.

It allowed him to keep the farm animals on his property.

“I was never given a warning and did not get to defend myself in court,” he said.

The City of Joburg said Mkwanazi had to be served with a court order as he was contravening the land-use specifications.

“The zoning of the property determines the land use permitted on the site,” said council spokeswoman Thembelihle Radebe.

She said Public Health had different by-laws to Town/Development Planning.

Radebe said public health dealt with contraventions within the environment that might have an adverse effect on human health, while town/development planning dealt with illegal land use in terms of the property’s zoning.

She said Mkwanazi could seek legal advice, but had to comply with the court order until then.

However, Mkwanazi said he was not given a warning before he was taken to court. “I was accused of trading the chickens, and I did not do that. They lied and said I had a queue outside my house. One of the officials even asked for one (chicken) to take home.”

He said the official had deliberately taken the chicken to make it look like Mkwanazi was trading.

The zoning was in conjunction with trading, which he said was something he did not take part in.

“My argument is that the right procedure was not followed.”

The council maintains that the principles of effective and co-operative governance apply.

“For example, Environmental Health will seek clarification regarding a premise’s land-use rights, which might influence the issuing of an Environmental Health certificate,” said Radebe. The by-laws did not overlap, she added.

mpiletso.motumi@inl.co.za

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