Internationally renowned comedian Trevor Noah’s mother, Patricia Mbuyiselo Noah, is on the wrong side of the law for showing the City of Joburg the middle finger.
Noah, who reportedly owns more than 50 properties in Joburg, has been dragged to the high court in Joburg by the metro after ignoring several orders to stop violating by-laws by unlawfully renting out her Highlands North property to different families.
The City of Joburg has now applied for an interdict or an order to stop her from renting out the property to the tenants. The matter was supposed to have been heard on October 7 but was postponed to November 14 after she failed to file a motion of notice to defend.
According to court papers filed by the City of Joburg’s lawyers, Poswa Incorporated, Noah has been contravening the Town Planning Scheme since 2013 by using the property as an accommodation establishment.
The property, which is defined as residential 1 according to municipal by-laws, has been occupied by more than a single family with a further four persons living together in a single household. The council, read the papers, argues that this is in contravention of the zoning regulations applicable to the property.
The city said it discovered through its law enforcement officer, James Rammalo, after an inspection of the property on September 22 2014, that it was occupied by several unrelated families who were paying rent to Noah.
Rammalo then wrote a letter to Noah alerting her to immediately stop renting out the property to different families as she was breaking the city by-laws.
The council said Rammalo discovered upon another inspection on January 26 2015 that Noah had not stopped the unlawful usage of the property. Subsequent inspections showed she had not stopped unlawfully renting out the property.
The city lawyers then dispatched a letter to Noah last year, demanding she immediately refrain from unlawfully renting out the property.
But two months ago the city sought a court order to stop her from doing so after she failed to comply with their demand. “It is unlikely that the respondent will terminate such unauthorised use or will procure such termination unless an interdict is granted against her by this honourable court,” read the court papers.
Poswa Incorporated lawyer Thirusha Naicker confirmed the city has applied for a court interdict against Noah.
“She has filed a notice of motion to defend and we are just waiting for her to file her answering affidavit.”
Noah said she bought the house for domestic workers who were living there for free. She also denied that she violated municipal by-laws and said the renovations were approved by the council.
By Ngwako Malatji