The National Water Tribunal, hearing an appeal in terms of The National Water Act brought by the Centre for Environment Rights on behalf of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and two others against, the Director General of the Department of Water and Sanitation and Atha-Africa Ventures, rejected CER’s last-minute plea for postponement of the matter to May 2018.
The three-day appeal hearing was set for 26-28 March at the behest of the Centre for Environment Rights (CER).
Senior Vice-President of Atha-Africa Ventures (AAV) Praveer Tripathi commented:
“AAV was not surprised by the delaying tactics of CER, who on the one hand in a letter to the Tribunal in May 2017 demanded this matter to be set down urgently, but when the matter was set down on an urgent roll, CER pleaded postponement.
“The Tribunal did not agree with CER in their contradictory contention of keeping the matter urgent while seeking postponement, and refused their application for postponement.
“The Tribunal also removed the matter from the urgent roll due to the fact that Atha-Africa already has an unsuspended Water Use License and therefore is not prejudiced by striking the matter off urgent roll as they may continue to commence with mining regardless of the pending appeal.
“With this latest U-turn by CER, they just demonstrated that they would rather misuse and abuse the legal processes, safe in the constitutional protection afforded to them with regards to costs, than face the legal process in Tribunal.
“In short, they have wasted substantial taxpayer money and much valuable time of the Tribunal by first insisting that the matter was urgent and then doing an about-face and seeking postponement.
“The deplorable U-turn by CER just confirms that the appeal is devoid of any substance and is just an example of vexatious litigation by them to further their anti-developmental and anti-transformation agenda,” concludes Tripathi.