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Legal spat could stop Durban A1 race

2006-01-26 07:36

Nivashni Nair

According to Murphy, Sutcliffe is liable for damages after he told the media that the councillor's fight to receive compensation for the Durban residents was simply a ploy for him to obtain free race tickets and free accommodation.

Sutcliffe had made this remark after the Ecopeace Party representing "concerned citizens, residents, and taxpayers" had sent a legal letter advising the municipality and race organisers of its intention to obtain an urgent High Court interdict to stop the weekend's A1 Grand Prix race if their concerns were not heard or their parties compensated.

According to Murphy the residents were not involved in the consulting process regarding the race tracks being built in their area. He claims that objections were ignored and that they should be duly compensated.

"What we are saying is that for those who do not enjoy the race and do not want the pollution and noise of the race then the municipality should provide free accommodation for them as their homes have been invaded without any consultations.

"Furthermore, for those living close to the stretch and enjoy the race then they should be given free tickets to it because why should you pay to get to your front door," he explained.

Murphy said that it is believed that the residents of houses which entrances have been blocked to accommodate the race tracks were told to buy a ticket if they want to go to their homes.

Sutcliffe on Wednesday told The Witness (a sister newspaper of Wheels24) it is grossly untrue that residents have been asked to pay to enter their own homes.

He said that there are no homes that are condoned off or directly on the track. He explained that some houses may have the entrances blocked but residents can enter through the rear door.

When The Witness contacted Sutcliffe he was not aware of the defamation case against him however he said that his statement was accurate and not defamatory as Murphy, in the legal letter had stated that he is seeking relief of free race tickets and accommodation.

"Then maybe he should be suing himself for saying that. It is a joke that at this late stage a councillor who had voted for the A1 is now seeking an urgent court interdict. It's obvious that he is looking for free publicity because a small party like his never gets publicity," Sutcliffe said.

Sutcliffe said he is believes that the A1 Grand Prix race will go ahead as planned and that a court will not rule in Murphy's favour.

However Murphy's lawyer John Govender told The Witness that he believes that the court could rule in his favour as the judicial system is not influenced by the executive committee.

Govender said he is currently trying to get more signatures for a petition as for a class act case public representation is vital.


A1 GP calender revealed

2006-07-05 11:57

Inside Wheels24

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