Res­i­dent ‘tor­tured’ by neigh­bours’ roost­ers, geese

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - ZELDA VEN­TER

COCK- A- doodle- doo. The early morn­ing crow­ing of roost­ers and other noises from the neigh­bour’s prop­erty were such tor­ture that a wo­man has gone to court.

Anelle van Bu­uren, from Midrand in Johannesburg, turned to the high court in Pre­to­ria to in­ter­dict her neigh­bours – Sad­hasee­lan and Sarash­nee Goven­der – over the noise from their menagerie of roost­ers, tur­keys and geese.

De­scrib­ing it as noise pol­lu­tion, she said she had tried ev­ery­thing to stop the noise which car­ried on all day.

“I ap­proached them on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, I ap­proached the SPCA, the City of Johannesburg and the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Author­ity,” she told the court. “All my at­tempts to re­solve this have come to naught.”

She said the Goven­ders had moved in next door in 2013 and set up a pen for poul­try on the boundary wall with her prop­erty. She said the pen was close to her bed­room, which faced the wall.

She said the va­ri­ety of poul­try in­cluded roost­ers, chick­ens, geese, pea­cocks and a turkey.

“Need­less to say, they caused a lot of noise. The roost­ers crowed at dusk, through­out the night and into the early morn­ing.

“The pea­cocks and hens called reg­u­larly, es­pe­cially at dusk and dawn. The turkey gobbles through­out all hours day and night,” she said.

Van Bu­uren said the noise had a se­ri­ous im­pact on her con­ve­nience and peace as she was wo­ken up dur­ing the night and early in the morn­ing by the noise.

“I ini­tially tol­er­ated the noise, think­ing the an­i­mals would set­tle down.

“Af­ter sev­eral months of con­tin­u­ous noise, in­ter­rupted sleep and in­creas­ing ill health, I re­alised they were not go­ing to set­tle down.”

Van Bu­uren said she then spoke to the Goven­ders about the noise, and they moved the pen slightly fur­ther away from the boundary wall.

But while this perked her up, the prospect of sleep was short­lived, and the noise con­tin­ued.

She said she again pleaded with her neigh­bours to re­move the an­i­mals, but was told they were en­ti­tled to keep them on the prop­erty. Van Bu­uren even­tu­ally con­tacted the Gaut­eng Health Depart­ment, and of­fi­cials paid the Goven­ders a visit.

She was told by the of­fi­cials that the area was zoned agri­cul­tural, so the noise was rea­son­able un­der the cir­cum­stances.

How­ever, the Goven­ders moved the pen fur­ther from the wall, and they got rid of some of the roost­ers.

This helped, Van Bu­uren said, as there was less crow­ing, but the noise con­tin­ued.

She said she con­tin­ued send­ing frus­trated and pleas to her neigh­bours to make a plan as she could no longer han­dle the sleep de­pri­va­tion. “Sleep de­pri­va­tion was a form of tor­ture used in World War 2 and Guan­tanamo Bay,” she said in her pa­pers.

This she com­pared to her own sit­u­a­tion, say­ing the noise was “tor­tur­ing” her.

But Sarash­nee Goven­der, de­nied the fowls cre­ated noise pol­lu­tion. She said she had ad­hered to all calls to move the pen, yet her neigh­bour con­tin­ued to com­plain.

She also ac­cused her neigh­bour of re­fer­ring to her and her fam­ily in deroga­tory terms and said she sus­pected the is­sue went fur­ther than her an­i­mals.

She said when she got rid of her chick­ens, Van Bu­uren turned her at­ten­tion to the ducks, which were qui­eter. “At this point, we have one rooster, one pea­cock and ducks. In to­tal, we have about 25 poul­try.”

Goven­der pointed out that the zon­ing of the land en­ti­tled her to keep her poul­try.

She said what was an­noy­ing was that Van Bu­uren her­self kept chick­ens and a rooster.

Judge Pierre Ra­bie did not make an or­der re­gard­ing the in­ter­dict at this stage, but sim­ply or­dered the Goven­ders to pay Van Bu­uren’s le­gal costs of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

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