Note to Editors: Please find linked soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Leon Basson MP
The DA in North West came to the legal defense of our Madibeng Ward 30 Councillor, Claudie Greenwood-Selby, after she was issued with an interim court order and a warrant of arrest following the launch of an online petition calling on the Madibeng Local Municipality to take action against an illegal recycling plant operating in Ifafi, Hartbeestpoort.
The owners of the recycling plant abused the provisions under the Protection of Harassment Act to obtain an interim court order and warrant of arrest against Cllr Greenwood-Selby for merely doing the job that the residents of Ward 30 Madibeng elected her to do.
The matter was subsequently dismissed by the Magistrates Court yesterday. See the court order here.
Cllr Greenwood-Selby received numerous complaints from residents in the area about the recycling plant. She then escalated the matter to the Madibeng Local Municipality which conducted an inspection at the site. Officials found that the business did not meet the basic health and safety standards as well as the provisions of the National Environment Management Act. See the report here.
The property is also not zoned for this kind of activity but zoned for either a restaurant, guesthouse, or a public park or recreational facility. See the zoning certificate here.
Residents and local businesses reported rat infestations and that some rubbish from this site end up in the Hartbeespoort Dam. There were also concerns raised about the illegal occupation of vacant land and the alleged sale of alcohol and drugs from the site.
The online petition obtained more than 1 000 signatures from local residents who clearly indicated their support for the initiative to see the plant closed down.
The DA will now submit this signed petition to the Madibeng Local Municipality in support of the action we have requested, and we hope to see the site cleared as soon as possible.
We believe this protection order was an attempt to intimidate and prevent Cllr Greenwood-Selby from doing the work she was elected to do.
At no point did Cllr Greenwood-Selby identify the owners by name and neither did she engage with them directly despite their unwarranted direct attempts to intimidate her.
When Cllr Greenwood-Selby went to the police station to collect the order, the complainant arrived at the station, taking photos of her from his vehicle. If anyone has been harassed it was Cllr Greenwood-Selby.
The DA will always stand firm behind its elected public representatives who all make immense sacrifices in service of the residents who elected them to office. We will not be intimidated and we will all continue to work hard to rebuild North West in the interest of all its people.