Durban tycoon and businessman Vivian Reddy has lost the second round of a court battle with the KwaDukuza Municipality (KDM) over a rates rebate.
On June 10, Reddy’s Double Ring Trading 7 lost the first round in an attempt to set aside a KDM council decision which declined its rates rebate application.
The business mogul’s application at the Durban high court on Wednesday, which was dismissed with costs, sought to appeal the judgment handed down in June.
According to Wednesday’s judgment, the main grounds set out by Reddy’s businesses Double Ring and KwaDukuza Mall were that the court was wrong in finding that it was common cause that when Double Ring applied for the rebate, it did so as a developer and an agent.
The applicants (KwaDukuza Mall and Double Ring) contended that if the court considered the definition of ownership, which includes persons in the category of the applicants who are buyers and had taken possession of the property, it would not have arrived at the conclusion that the applicants are not the owners of the property and, therefore, were not entitled to apply for rates rebate, reads the judgment.
They also submitted that the court was wrong in the June judgment in not considering another definition of ownership, which is contained in the KDM Rates Policy, read with the municipal rates by-laws — which gives Double Ring locus standi (the right to bring court action).READ MOREKZN ANC backs Paul Mashatile and Phumulo Masualle
Acting Judge speaks on appeal
Acting Judge Mathenjwa said leave to appeal may only be given where the judge or judges concerned are of the opinion that the appeal would have a reasonable prospect of success, or there is some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard, including conflicting judgments on the matter under consideration.
The crisp question in this application is whether the applicants have reasonable prospects of success on appeal.
I have considered the grounds of appeal, the submissions made by counsel for the applicants and counsel for the respondent, and I’m of the view that the applicants have not shown that there are reasonable prospects of success in the appeal. Therefore, the test for the leave to appeal has not been met.
Reddy said his legal team disagreed with the merit of the judgment and will be petitioning the Supreme Court of Appeal.
KDM spokesperson Sipho Mkhize said Reddy is paying his dues to the municipality but “under protest”, believing that his company is eligible for a rates rebate.
His accounts are up to date. The reason why the two entities are in court is for property rates. And not for other services. The municipality welcomes the judgment as it vindicates its position that the council acted as per its policy by not granting Mr Reddy’s company rates rebate.