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Tuesday, 09 July 2019 13:42

Press release: 18:45 – 8 July 2019 - Win for the Hermanus economy and The Whale Coast Business and Community Forum – Re Court Interdict.

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The 19 individually targeted businesses and the Whale Coast Business and Community Forum (WCBCF) would like to place the following on record regarding recent acts of intimidation and calls for a targeted mass protest action in Hermanus, as circulated by Zwelihle Renewal, Gcobani Ndzongana, and others.

The WCBCF coordinated and spearheaded a joint effort with the unfairly targeted businesses for an urgent court order (Interdict) against unlawful protest action. This interdict was granted by The Honourable Justice Samela in the High Court (Western Cape Division) on Monday 8 July 2019.

Judge Samela, inter alia, interdicted the Respondents (ZR, Ndzongwane et al) from approaching within 50 meters of each business premises, from interfering in any way with access to these business premises, its customers and personnel, or in any way with business functions or activities. Importantly, the order also interdicts the respondents from obstructing the R43 or any road providing access to these businesses and their areas of operation.

The list of applicants wish to hereby place it on record that we will do everything within the confines of the law to protect our business operations, our customers, the livelihoods of our employees, and our reputations as good corporate citizens. Threads of intimidation and violence, false accusations and unfairly targeted mass protest action by self-appointed vigilante groups in town against legitimate, law-abiding businesses will not be tolerated.

Furthermore, the instigators – which purport to represent the unemployed – falsely asserts that racism, unfair labour and employment practices and other illegal acts are perpetrated by the targeted businesses. These accusations are disconnected from the facts to the extent that even the worker’s unions active in some of these businesses disagree with the accusations.

The targeted businesses collectively employ hundreds of Hermanus residents, in a very tough current economic environment. Most of them are dependent on tourism for survival. The actions promoted by the respondents will undoubtedly lead to more unemployment; marching to and protesting in front of tourism-dependent businesses will destroy jobs, not lead to growth and employment opportunities.

They have no right to launch vigilante investigations and no legal standing to usurp the authority of bona fide legal bodies such as the Labour Department and other bodies mandated to investigate any suspicions of unfair labour practices.

Their agenda appears to be to damage the image of Hermanus, evidently as part of an effort to remain politically relevant. The unfairly targeted businesses are determined to prevent such harmful acts by pursuing all legal avenues against the instigators and the organizations supporting them.

Other employers and organizations are invited to join the current group of individual businesses and the WCBCF in their endeavours to protect the local economy and to refute any false accusations aimed at sabotaging our trading environment. Commerce is the lifeline of the community. Hermanus businesses will henceforth seek to pro-actively counter any falsehoods promulgated, baseless accusations leveled, and intimidation targeting our employees and us.

In addition, it is our intent to pursue further legal action due to the reputational damage and utterances made by individuals and groups regarding our business practices. We will also be submitting a list to SAPS of individuals and organizations that we wish to restrict from any future access to our business premises.

The WCBCF furthermore laid a broader charge with the SAPS regarding intimidation and inciting violence based on utterances by some of these instigators. We call upon the South African Police services to investigate the matter as soon as possible.

We would also like to gather factual evidence from businesses that have suffered due to the protest and other actions in the past and current. The WCBCF will pursue alternative legal actions to mitigate or litigate such perpetrators.

Finally, we would like to thank the businesses and community for standing by us in these turbulent times. Hermanus is and will remain one of the most important tourism destinations in South Africa. The annual migration of the Southern Right whales has commenced and we are looking forward to a busy tourism season. Prosperity for all.

Here is the link Court Order by Judge Samela in PDF

Kind Regards

Read 807 times Last modified on Thursday, 11 July 2019 14:50
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