A Pretoria pub has obtained an interim interdict to stop a neighbour from harassing, intimidating or threatening to beat up its employees and patrons, but its legal battle is far from over.
Acting Judge Jonas Mosopa granted the interim interdict in the High Court in Pretoria against Jacobus van der Merwe, 49, who has been at odds with the Picasso’s Pub and Pizzeria across from his house in Pierneef Street, Villieria, for over a decade.
The interdict not only prohibits Van der Merwe from harassing and threatening the pub’s patrons and staff, but stops him from laying false complaints about the pub with the police and health authorities, and from spreading false rumours about it.
The judge refused to grant an order forcing Van der Merwe to remove or turn his CCTV cameras, which face the pub, in another direction, and directed the parties to present oral evidence about their disputes before a final interdict could be determined.
Johan Botha, who took over the pub in 2008, alleged in court papers Van der Merwe had for the past nine years been doing his utmost to annoy, harass, obstruct and damaged the pub’s business and reputation.
He said Van der Merwe had on numerous occasions reported Picasso’s to the authorities for various contraventions, regularly told patrons who visited the pub that they were “going to hell”, recorded their every move on his CCT cameras, flashed a firearm and physically assaulted patrons.
Botha alleged Van der Merwe had an “unhealthy vendetta” against Picasso’s and engaged with him in a “bombastic, threatening, arrogant and aggressive manner”. He also complained about the concrete poles Van der Merwe had erected on his pavement to stop people from parking.
Mosopa said it was common cause that the pub’s patrons at times used Van der Merwe’s pavement because of limited parking. Van der Merwe also insisted his CCTV cameras was for security.