Council wins ruling against pub billboard

Legal challenge: United Cafe in Extension 10 is being challenged over a billboard
Legal challenge: United Cafe in Extension 10 is being challenged over a billboard

The Gaborone High Court has given Gaborone City Council (GCC) the green light to remove an illegal advertising structure mounted by United Café Company in Extension 10.

The local authority had argued that the structure was mounted without permission from the Council.  United Café is the central attraction in a highly popular liquor drinking area in Extension 10 known by its regulars as ‘Dot Com’.

Yesterday, Justice Key Dingake made a final order allowing the council to engage its sheriffs in removing the advertising material erected without consent.

The council was also awarded the costs of the application and that of removing the material after arguing that had United Café acted willfully to remove the material, the court’s intervention could have been avoided.

Making the order, Dingake said the company had failed to show any cause to the application despite being served and notified.

“This draft order is made final since the defendant failed to appear in court and (also failed to) show cause why it should not be made final. It is now a final order for this matter,” he said.

Earlier on and appearing on behalf of the council, attorney Bokamoso Semong asked the court for a final order regarding the application.  She also moved for the court to allow the council to remove the material.

She told the court that since the filing of the application, United Café had not shown whether they objected or not. “The company has been served with all the documents regarding this application, but they have not once responded either by a notice of motion or responding affidavit,” she said.

Semong said the council’s papers were in order and the company was even notified of the court date but had failed to appear.

“We request that the draft order be made the order of this court and that we be awarded costs for both the application and the removal of the advertising material because if it was not for this company we wouldn’t be here today with this application. “They should bear the costs,” she said.

According to papers filed before court, GCC made an application for the removal of an advertising structure erected in Extension 10. The council’s contention was that United Café had not sought any permission from them or paid for any advertising space.

 The council wanted the company, which owns a number of outlets in the city, to remove the advertising structure with immediate effect.  GCC also wanted the court to interdict and restrain the company from further erecting similar advertising structures in council areas without consent.

The case is the latest in a suite of legal battles the council has waged against illegal advertising in the city.  Recently, the council settled out of court with South African media advertising giant, Primedia after accusing the company of advertising with an expired licence and in an illegal area.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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