Update from our Chair

Dear Obs residents

Just a quick update on the River Club campaign

– The developers continue to pour concrete on site in violation of the interdict issued by Judge Goliath on 18th March. The OCA and GKKITC have submitted papers to hold them in contempt of court. The matter was meant to be heard last week, but has been postponed to the 27th July. We do not believe the developer’s reasons for claiming the interdict is suspended by their approach to the Supreme Court is remotely tenable.

– When the case was due to be heard last Tuesday, our campaign members were confronted by an aggressive and hostile crowd egged on by FNC leaders. Respected Khoi leaders were assaulted and insulted in an attempt to humiliate them. You can read more about the events here and see how the media failed to show this was a calculated assault on campaign activists.

– The actual High Court Review is still in progress. The OCA and GKKITC have submitted our supplementary affidavits but there appears to be no haste from the developers in responding, since they have lodged their Supreme Court appeal. Their strategy is clear – to use the appeal to bypass the interdict. It’s obvious they are not making haste to have the merits of the case concluded because they fear losing the case in the High Court.

– Meanwhile, we have responded to the applications to the Supreme Court by arguing that there is no basis for considering the interdict issued by Deputy Judge President Goliath on 18th March to be a final decision, which is what their appeal case rests upon. We have to fight four separate appeals by each of the parties – hence our characterisation of this case as lawfare.

– An important and deciding factor in the review is that there are 18 different Khoi and San entities that have submitted affidavits that put paid to the developers’ claims that there were no Khoi and San entities left out of consultations. Our papers also include a set of criticisms of the environmental authorisations which failed to account for significant omissions in the Basic Assessment Report.

– One very significant affidavit submitted is that from the Traditional San Royal House ofNIInǂe, which was party to the signing of the Social Compact, but has now submitted an affidavit in support of our case, because “the developer is putting our history in the grave.”

– However, shortly after this, we heard that the school run by Queen Ouma Katriena in Upington, established to teach the N|uu language, was vandalised. We are therefore supporting an appeal made for funds to restore the School. Although we are in desperate need of funding for our Court Case, I would still urge you support the appeal for contributions to help repair and re-establish the only school that is teaching N|uu – the worlds oldest living language. It is a priceless part of the intangible heritage of indigenous people of this region that can’t be left to ruin.

Contributions can be made to
Account holder: Staar na die Sterre
Account type: Standard Bank Business Account
Account number: 10151554518

We encourage you to contribute to the restoration of the school, and we hope the authorities will ensure that proper security measures are put in place to protect this important heritage treasure.