Durban - Wealthy Durban power couple S’bu and Shauwn Mpisane appear to have started work to join their two neighbouring La Lucia properties – despite allegedly not yet submitting building plans.
The eThekwini Municipality confirmed on Thursday that it had yet to receive the required plans, saying until they are approved, no building work could begin.
The municipality has, however, approved the couple’s application to consolidate the two properties, while the public have until the end of business on Friday to lodge any appeal against its decision.
But there has already been much activity on the Mpisanes’ recently acquired property, next to their three-storey mansion in Addison Drive, La Lucia.
A prominent architect who lives in the area, who did not want to be named, said the couple had started building a 3-4m high concrete retaining wall on their new property. He explained that no structure could be erected without approved building plans.
“The only time a building plan is not required is for a temporary structure such as a temporary fence,” he said.
Building sand and stones have already been delivered to the property, where security guards stand at each entrance point to the compound.
Walls have been knocked down and underground pipes had been installed, the architect said.
According to the Sunday Tribune, the Mpisanes bought the neighbouring property in Moreland Drive for R2.9 million, apparently to build a security complex for 20 guards.
The municipality said it would send out a building inspector to investigate the architect’s allegations and take the necessary action.
However, it would not say when the inspection would take place. “An inspection or investigation is an internal process” and could not be publicised, said an official.
Tozi Mthethwa, the municipality’s communications head, said a legislated appeal period on the decision to allow the joining of the properties was being observed. It expires today.
“In terms of this process, the application was duly advertised for public comments,” said Mthethwa.
The Mpisanes have declined to comment on their new property and their building plans.
Earlier this year, the Durban Regional Court acquitted Shauwn Mpisane and her company, Zikhulise Cleaning and Maintenance and Transport CC, of 119 counts of tax fraud involving R4.7m, after the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to stop the prosecution because of alleged irregularities. Before this, state advocate Wendy O’Brien withdrew 53 charges of fraud, forgery and uttering in the Commercial Crime Court as the State missed a deadline to hand over certain information to the defence.