[FROM THE ARCHIVES] SLAPP in the face
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝟭𝟱 𝗔𝘂𝗴𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭.
In a rapidly expanding city, where housing development is sorely needed, residents’ rights to ensure building projects proceed on a sustainable basis have to be carefully balanced. Now, one successful developer, working to bring relief to the housing needs in the Diepsloot area west of Johannesburg, has brought a R197-million lawsuit against a small environmental organisation that has dedicated its existence to ensuring responsible development on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Is it a legitimate claim for real damages brought on by the delays that objections in the public participation process have caused? Or is this a case of so-called Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) – an abusive bullying tactic to undermine legitimate expression?