We were due to be in court this coming week on the 24th and 25th November but Deputy Judge President Goliath, who was allocated to hear the case, has fallen ill. The Judge President refused to allocate it to another judge.
This means that the hearing will not be taking place 24th and 25th of November. A date is still to be confirmed, and may only be in 2022, hopefully January.
This is obviously disappointing as the longer this is delayed, the more concrete is placed on site.
But please understand the following:
1. The High Court review will decide on the appropriateness of the decision to allow the development to proceed. If it strikes out those decisions, it has the power to order the site to be returned to the state it was in when we first served our paper in August.
2. The High Court review will be preceded by an interdict to halt any further construction whilst the High Court review proceeds. That was going to be heard on the 24th and 25th November. If we succeed in the interdict, which we are hopeful of, it will freeze any building activity on site.
To update you on the court process:
1. The Forest People’s Programme, an international NGO dedicated to empowering indigenous organisations to promote an alternative vision of how the environment should be managed, has applied to join the case as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to bring perspectives based on international law and indigenous people to the case. We have supported their entry as amicus and the respondents (the City, DEADP and LLPT) have opposed their entry
2. The respondents are attempting to strike out various parts of my affidavit, including any reference to SAHRAs grading of the River club as a National Heritage site, and of the affidavit that confirms that Amazon has and had other choices to locate their HQ, and therefore the claims that Amazon will leave Cape Town are implausible. This is not surprising as these are troublesome facts for the developers and the government departments supporting them.
SAHRA are proceeding with the grading process for the Two Rivers Urban Park for national heritage but could not access the River Club site, which is part of the Park. Having nominators present on a visit would be normal practice but the LLPT prevented us from accompanying the SAHRA delegation. There is no plausible reason for such behaviour other than they did not want any contradiction to their narrative when engaging SAHRA. SAHRA are considering issuing a provisional protection order over the River Club site.