Durban - A Durban advocate and his family have turned to the courts for relief from their “vindictive and malicious” neighbours, who they claim have made their lives a “living hell” since moving in next door.

From calling the fire department, police and building inspectors to complaining to the SPCA about their dogs - even though they had possibly five of their own - the man and his father had “behaved barbarically”, advocate Shunmugam Govender said in his founding affidavit before the Durban High Court.

He also claimed he and his family were called “coolies”, repeatedly sworn at and told to move “back to Chatsworth”.

To stop the verbal abuse, intimidation and threats, Govender said he obtained an interim interdict against Jarrod Northcote and his father, Clive, in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court in December. 

Govender wanted the Durban High Court to restrain Northcote from threatening, physically abusing and intimidating him, his wife, Meenakumarie, and son, Ruvaal.

He sought an order to stop Northcote from posting pictures of his vehicles and neighbouring properties - Govender parks the vehicles on one - on Facebook.

And Govender sought to restrain Northcote from spreading rumours about the family on social media and damaging his property and vehicles.

The matter is on the court roll for next month and unemployed Northcote, who was served the founding papers last month, had not filed opposing papers by the time of publication.

Govender said that in the first week of moving into their area in Westville about five years ago, Northcote became rude and aggressive when a visitor’s car allegedly blocked his driveway. 

“The respondent bothered us for more than four hours during the course of that night while we were celebrating my son’s 21st birthday party,” said Govender

Despite later realising that the car belonged to Northcote’s own guest, who was allegedly drunk and had “passed out” in his home, Northcote did not apologise for his “abusive” behaviour, said Govender.

Fed-up with Northcote’s complaints about the Govenders’ two “well-trained and well-behaved” dogs, he said they had to give them away.

“Ironically, the respondent has four or five dogs that bark all day and night. 

"He also has a newborn baby that cries for most of the day and night. We have not made this an issue, but thought it worth mentioning.”

Govender accused his neighbour of calling the fire department to his property when there were no fires and insisting that the metro police fine him for parking his cars on the road - with some towed away owing to the persistence, he said.

To avoid further problems, he bought a vacant lot opposite his house to park his cars, he said, but Northcote had a problem with this too, alerting building inspectors to try to stop fencing on the property and the erection of an awning.

Relating an incident in November, Govender said his son and his son’s girlfriend were walking his puppy to a dead end where the family’s second property was when Northcote swore at him, calling the young woman a “b****”. 

His father Clive allegedly called the couple “dumb coolies”.

Then, on December 4, Northcote allegedly told Govender he and his family were a “bunch of coolies and we must f*** off back to Chatsworth”.

Govender, who had laid criminal charges against Northcote for allegedly trying to set two vicious dogs on him, said his neighbour was undeterred “as he clearly has no regard and respect for the law”.

He said the windscreens of his two Mercedes-Benz cars and a window on his Audi A8, all parked at his other property, were damaged in December.

“On February 11, I received a call on my cellphone from a private number from what sounded like a white man telling me I should not think I am a smart f****** lawyer as he was smarter and was ‘gonna show’ me. Before I could respond, he cut the call.”

He also referred to two disturbing incidents which happened while he and his family were sleeping.

“We were woken up by two loud bangs. In the morning, we noticed our poolside door was damaged as well as the front entrance glass door.”

Three days later, their bathroom window was shot at with either an air or gas gun.

Govender said he then received another call, warning that the “game is not over”.