Princess Vlei: ‘Irregularities’ in mall process

Cape Times
21st September 2012

‘Irregularities’ in Princess Vlei mall process

Documents alleging irregularities in the process surrounding the proposed Princess Vlei shopping mall have been handed to the National Prosecuting Authority ( NPA) and to the Public Protector.

This is the latest development in the controversy around the mall and taxi rank to be built by a private company on public land in one of the Cape Flats’ green lungs.

The documents claim that there were “undeclared interests” in the process.

Kelvin Cochrane, of the Princess Vlei Forum, an NGO which opposes the development, has handed an affidavit to the NPA in which he states that two of the three directors of the development company, Insight Property Developers (Cape), were or had been members of Tshukudu Environmental Services, the environmental consultants appointed by the city council to conduct the environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the shopping mall.

The National Environmental Management Act states that a person who compiles an EIA must be independent and have “no business, financial, personal or other interest” in the proposed development, nor may there be any circumstances that may compromise the objectivity of his work.

The purpose is to avoid socalled “sweetheart” EIAs, reports with a bias towards the developers.

EIA consultants are required to sign a declaration of independence.

The documents handed to the NPA contain a declaration of independence signed by Dudley Janeke of Tshukudu Environmental Services (Pty) Ltd in July 2002.

The documents contain a CIPC company report which lists the directors of Tshukudu Environmental Services as Dudley Janeke, Peter Jones, Peter Loebenberg and Anthony Stiles.

A CIPC company report lists the directors of Insight Property Developers (Cape) as Anthony Stiles, Peter Loebenberg and Gamat Noor Hendricks.

The documents handed to the NPA also state that the company the city council was dealing with over the mall was Insight Property Developers (Cape). This company was recognised by the city as the developer.

However, Cochrane said it appeared the city was now dealing with a company called Insight Property Developers (Palmyra Road), of which Stiles and Hendricks were directors, as well as Neville Thorton, Leon Cohen and Johan Chapman.

Tshukudu Environmental Services was voluntarily liquidated in 2005. Insight Properties was listed as one of its creditors.

The Cape Times asked Janeke to comment but received no reply.

Asked to comment, Stiles said he was not involved in an executive position in the companies, but had acted as an adviser to help set them up.

Stiles said the forum appeared to be “clutching at straws”.

Thorton said the claims were “absolutely rubbish”.

All the documents were in the public domain and there had been “nothing untoward” in the process.

“This has nothing to do with me. I must terminate this discussion,” Thorton said.

Cape Times

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