Hamba kahle Moulana Ih­saan

Cape Times - - FRONT PAGE - Own Cor­re­spon­dent

THE City of Tsh­wane has demon­strated that of­fences – no mat­ter how mi­nor they seem – will not be tol­er­ated in the metro when it pros­e­cuted a tav­ern owner for noise pol­lu­tion.

Phillip Mafata, 44, owner of a tav­ern in Soshanguve, was sen­tenced to two years in prison for con­tra­ven­ing the Gaut­eng Noise Con­trol Reg­u­la­tions.

Mafata ap­peared at the Tsh­wane Mu­nic­i­pal Court sit­ting at the Soshanguve Mag­is­trate’s Court for sen­tenc­ing af­ter he was found guilty of con­tra­ven­ing the reg­u­la­tions.

He was found guilty on 26 charges re­lat­ing to noise pol­lu­tion.

City of Tsh­wane spokesper­son Lin­dela Mashigo said while they had pre­vi­ously se­cured con­vic­tions for sim­i­lar crimes, the sen­tences had been fines, while of­fend­ing busi­nesses were closed down in other in­stances.

He said it was the first time the cul­prit had been jailed.

“The Gaut­eng Noise Con­trol Reg­u­la­tions is used by Mu­nic­i­pal Health Ser­vices to en­force noise con­trol in the City of Tsh­wane.

“The reg­u­la­tion stip­u­lates, among oth­ers, that noise gen­er­ated by a de­vice or ac­tiv­ity on a prop­erty may not be au­di­ble beyond the bound­aries of such a prop­erty.”

He said the case against Mafata was brought to court by the Mu­nic­i­pal Health Ser­vices sec­tion, which was re­spon­si­ble for all en­vi­ron­men­tal health com­plaints.

“It was based on the ev­i­dence by one of Mafata’s neigh­bours and City of­fi­cers who vis­ited the neigh­bour’s house to take noise mea­sure­ments,” he said.

The com­plainant, Ken­neth Sithebe, said the na­ture of Mafata’s busi­ness caused much an­guish in the neigh­bour­hood be­cause loud mu­sic would be played un­til the early hours of the morn­ing.

“The tor­ture he in­flicted on my fam­ily and I, caus­ing us four years of sleep­less nights, will hope­fully come to an end. I am happy with the judg­ment; I hope it will send a strong mes­sage to those who op­er­ate their busi­nesses at the ex­pense of oth­ers, caus­ing them se­ri­ous psy­cho­log­i­cal harm,” said Sithebe.

Mashigo said Mafata was pre­vi­ously fined R12 000 for con­tra­ven­ing Gaut­eng Noise Con­trol Reg­u­la­tions af­ter he pleaded guilty to the charges.

“Half of the fine was sus­pended for three years on con­di­tion that he is not found guilty of a sim­i­lar of­fence within that pe­riod.

“Dur­ing mit­i­ga­tion of sen­tence, City prose­cu­tor Kag­iso Ratl­hogo said all the 26 counts the ac­cused was found guilty of are se­ri­ous, look­ing at the fact that they im­pact on the health and well-be­ing of other in­di­vid­u­als,” he said.

Mag­is­trate JC Kruger said it was clear Mafata did not take the sus­pended sen­tence se­ri­ously. “The ac­cused did not lis­ten to the ad­vice from en­vi­ron­men­tal health prac­ti­tion­ers, even af­ter they served him with no­tices and ex­plained the con­se­quences of his ac­tions.

“His­tory has proven that Mafata has no re­spect for the rule of law and his neigh­bours,” Kruger said.

Mu­nic­i­pal di­vi­sional head for mu­nic­i­pal courts Isak Beukes said: “This will send a clear mes­sage to in­di­vid­u­als hell-bent on tram­pling on the rights of oth­ers within com­mu­ni­ties that mu­nic­i­pal courts are func­tional and ef­fec­tive to pros­e­cute by-law trans­gres­sors.”

Res­i­dents ex­pe­ri­enc­ing con­tin­ual noise pol­lu­tion are ad­vised to re­port it on­line or con­tact the City at 021 480 7700.

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