Restaurant bunfight on Cape Town coast isn't urgent, high court rules
A long-running conflict between neighbouring businesses in a Cape Town coastal community does not require urgent resolution, the Cape Town high court has ruled.
The court found that there were no urgent grounds in an application by On the Rocks in Bloubergstrand to interdict Jerry Finley of the neighbouring Pinard on Sea guesthouse. The case was postponed to May 17.
Johannesburg advocate Andre Bezuidenhout, who owns On the Rocks, asked the court to stop Finley disrupting the restaurant's business operations, including “the assault and verbal abuse” of staff members and interfering with delivery of stock and supplies to On the Rocks.
Court documents also complain that Finley has opened a restaurant, coffee shop and ice-cream parlour without planning permission. In his answering affidavit, Finley said his business licence permitted the development.
Finley's attorney, Antionette Rawlings, said the main aim of On the Rocks' litigation was to force the American businessman to close a coffee shop he opened last December.
“Mr Finley believes the motive behind the application is to stifle competition in the Bloubergstrand district,” she said, adding that Finley had unsuccessfully tried to mediate his neighbours' complaints.
“In the wake of the court application, social media has been flooding with positive support for the Lighthouse coffee shop,” said Rawlings.
The aim of Finley and his business partner, Leo de Beer, was to use the shop as “a beacon of hope and change amid these difficult economic times we find ourselves in, by providing a positive and relaxing experience to all patrons”.
In court papers, Annarette Blom, MD of the On the Rocks trust, said she and other staff had endured “a multitude of hostile engagements” with Finley, dating back to 2012.