Contractor goes to court over intimidation
The owner of a construction company building a mall in Burgersfort, Limpopo, has lodged an urgent application to stop community leaders in the area from intimidating his employees and sub-contractors.
In his affidavit to the court Barend Becker, managing director of Pretoria-based Beckers Bouaannemers, claims community leaders in the Burgersfort area have been disturbing his construction work.
The matter is to be heard in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday.
There are eight respondents whom Becker claims are responsible for the intimidation.
They are community leader Jackson Tjatji; the municipality's Ward 18 community liaison officer Mary Gasebotoe Malepe; Ward 18 councillor Anna Masete; her husband Willem Mnisi, to whose bank account some of the money was allegedly channelled; bank employee Elias Phala; ANC Youth League secretary in GaManoke village Eddie Maila; Ward 18 league chairman Mandla Mabusa; and the Platinum Forum - a group claiming to represent role-players in the project.
Becker said to execute the project he had to enter into contracts with local sub-contractors to make use of local labourers.
He had to appoint Malepe to source the local labour and liaise with all interested parties to ensure that labourers were evenly distributed among various communities in the area.
Becker said work started on June 25 and is scheduled to be completed on May 22 next year.
He said the local sub-contractors and local employees worked together to prevent other sub-contractors and Becker's employees from continuing with work.
He said the leaders then demanded R105,000, which would be divided among them, for protection from any unprotected strikes.
On September 3, he said, Tjatji, Masete and Mabusa demanded a further R105,000 to "close the chapter", which he said he understood to mean was to protect him from further industrial action.
On both occasions he paid the money, which he wants back.