Business owner wins legal spat after being locked out at mall
Cape Town – As a result of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, a Durban business owner went to court after she was locked out of a trading premises by property owners.
The High Court in KwaZulu-Natal ruled in her favour, and said the property managers were wrong.
Kasi Flame Grilled Chicken owner, Shakila Kasi, launched an urgent application on June 5 against Zacharias Patinios and Mantis Properties, responsible for the management of the Lakeside Mall, to remove padlocks used to lock her out after she failed to make rent payments.
Kasi’s lawyer, Rakesh Maharaj of Rakesh Maharaj and Company, said they were happy with the judge’s decision.
“My client is pleased with the outcome and we are pleased that the rule of law prevailed. We are satisfied with it as it reaffirmed that a person cannot take the law into their own hands, be it a corporation or owner of a shopping mall. They must also comply with the due process.”
He said they were now in the process of getting his client back to her premises and they wrote to the lawyers representing the respondents asking them to facilitate her return.
In their answering affidavit, a Mr Patinios confirmed that padlocks were placed on the premises on May 22.
“He contends that the applicant has been less than candid with the court, as she failed to disclose material events leading to the respondents taking the action which they did.
“Patinios states that the applicant was a ‘problematic tenant’ who failed to pay her rentals and utility charges timeously, breaching the lease agreement.
“As at May 16, 2020, according to him, the applicant was in arrears with her rent in the amount of R78554.23, together with electricity charges of R14531.25.
“Matters came to a head around May 15, 2020 when an altercation took place between the applicant’s brother and a female employee of the second respondent, in which the former allegedly used vulgar language in the argument,” the judgment read.
According to Patinios, this led to the applicant expressing her desire to vacate the premises at the end of May.
Brian Morkel, of Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys, who represented the respondents, said he was not able to comment as he was waiting for instruction from his clients.
“I am in the process of waiting for instruction from my client on whether they will abide by the judgment.”