High Court gives Nd­lambe ul­ti­ma­tum on stray cat­tle

Mu­nic­i­pal­ity must tag an­i­mals in three months

Talk of the Town - - News - JON HOUZET

Ase­quel in the Gra­ham­stown High Court to the case of Nd­lambe’s mis­man­aged com­mon­ages and the stray cat­tle is­sue, has seen the mu­nic­i­pal­ity again or­dered to rec­tify all prob­lems within set time frames, or face be­ing found in con­tempt of court.

Nd­lambe was also hit with ex­tra costs for re­quest­ing post­pone­ments of high court hear­ings – the costs of which are ul­ti­mately borne by ratepay­ers.

The ap­pli­cants in the case against Nd­lambe are Agri EC, the Alexan­dria Agri­cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion, and four farm­ers who have been per­son­ally af­fected by is­sues of com­mon­age mis­man­age­ment, bro­ken fences, stock theft, and stray­ing and dis­eased cat­tle on their land – Brent McNa­mara, Ignatius Muller, El­iz­a­beth Klop­per and Koos van Rooyen.

In the or­der handed down by judge Clive Plas­ket on July 10 – which TotT got a copy of this week – the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was or­dered to en­sure that all an­i­mals de­pas­tured on mu­nic­i­pal com­mon­ages, on land un­der its con­trol and in res­i­den­tial ar­eas within the Alexan­dria, Bush­man’s River and Ken­ton-on-Sea ad­min­is­tra­tive dis­trict are to be tagged and branded within three months of the date of the or­der.

Also within three months, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has to im­ple­ment tar­iffs in ac­cor­dance with its own by­laws for stock own­ers who keep their an­i­mals on mu­nic­i­pal land and com­mon­ages.

For the Bathurst and Port Al­fred ad­min­is­tra­tive dis­trict, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has been given a bit more time – six months – to ad­dress tag­ging and brand­ing of an­i­mals on mu­nic­i­pal land, com­mon­age and wan­der­ing in res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

The strict or­der com­pels the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to im­pound all unau­tho­rised an­i­mals found on mu­nic­i­pal land, com­mon­ages and in res­i­den­tial ar­eas within six months of the or­der.

Added to this, Nd­lambe has to de­ter­mine the health sta­tus of all an­i­mals de­pas­tured on mu­nic­i­pal com­mon­ages, on land un­der its con­trol and in res­i­den­tial ar­eas within 12 months, and in the same pe­riod en­sure that all dis­eased an­i­mals are re­moved and kept in an iso­lated area re­served for such a pur­pose.

Nd­lambe must also com­ply with the car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity of its com­mon­ages within 18 months; re­pair all bound­ary fences in a poor con­di­tion on its com­mon­ages and pub­lic spa­ces un­der its con­trol within 24 months; and table for adop­tion a pol­icy plan to erad­i­cate all alien in­va­sive veg­e­ta­tion on mu­nic­i­pal land within 12 months of the or­der.

Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, mu­nic­i­pal man­ager Rolly Dumezweni and mayor Phindile Faxi were all named as re­spon­dents in the mat­ter and the or­der was bind­ing on them to be en­acted ei­ther jointly or sev­er­ally.

Plas­ket said in the event that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Dumezweni or Faxi fail to com­ply with any por­tion of the or­der, they have to sub­mit a writ­ten ex­pla­na­tion of the cause of the rel­e­vant non-com­pli­ance to the ap­pli­cants within seven days, and if their ex­pla­na­tion is deemed un­sat­is­fac­tory, the ap­pli­cants are en­ti­tled to ap­proach the court on the same papers, with ad­di­tions if nec­es­sary, for an or­der declar­ing the non-com­ply­ing re­spon­dent to be in con­tempt of the court or­der, and to seek ap­pro­pri­ate sanc­tion.

“Fail­ure by the non-com­ply­ing re­spon­dent to sub­mit a writ­ten ex­pla­na­tion as set out above shall amount to con­tempt of court,” Plas­ket added.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Dumezweni or Faxi were jointly and sev­er­ally or­dered to pay the costs of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

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