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Judge dismisses leave to appeal the River Club development judgment

Activities at the River Club development have been halted since March. Picture:Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Activities at the River Club development have been halted since March. Picture:Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Published May 6, 2022

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Cape Town - Western Cape Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath dismissed the application for leave to appeal the landmark River Club judgment, which effectively halted the construction of the R4.6billion project in March.

Various parties, including the Western Cape government, the City of Cape Town, The Western Cape First Nations Collective, and the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust brought applications for leave to appeal before the High Court, based on what they considered were a number of errors by the court.

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Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust spokesperson James Tannenberger said they would be reviewing the judgment: “The LLPT is deeply disappointed by Western Cape Deputy Judge President Goliath’s decision not to grant leave to appeal her interdict ruling to stop construction on the River Club redevelopment.

“The LLPT will approach the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein to appeal her judgment,” he said.

The group sought leave to appeal against the entirety of the judgment handed down by Goliath on March 18, 2022, when an interim order was granted for the construction of the River Club development to come to a halt, pending a meaningful consultation process and for the review application to be heard.

This follows what was perceived as a resounding victory for the Goringhaicona Khoi Khoin Indigenous Traditional Council (GKKITC) and the Observatory Civic Association (OCA), who had approached the court for urgent intervention to allow for a review of decisions made with respect to rezoning and environmental authorisation, approving the project.

The parties had submitted that a different court may come to a different conclusion with regard to the High Court’s findings.

It was argued that the order regarding the consultation process did not provide any details or clarity as to who should conduct the consultation and how it should be conducted. It was further argued that the court failed to consider all the evidence that, if construction was halted, LLPT and the wider community would suffer irreparable harm.

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Goliath, however, said: “I have considered whether the appeal would have reasonable prospects of success and I am convinced that there are no reasonable prospects that this appeal would succeed.”

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Cape Argus

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