The High Court in Pretoria will have to play referee in a legal battle between an Alberton homeowner and her neighbour, whom she has accused of disturbing the peace with his continuous use of power tools.
The court battle between Venette van Heerden, 47, and her neighbour, Paul Pedro, started last year when he erected aviaries for his large collection of exotic parrots and pigeons next to their shared boundary wall.
Van Heerden laid a noise and health complaint against Pedro with the local municipality, claiming the raucous and noisy birds were disturbing her peace. She also approached the high court for an interdict against Pedro, but the application was removed from the court roll after he undertook to move the aviaries to another section of his property.
Van Heerden returned to the court this week, claiming Pedro had not only failed to fully comply with his previous undertaking, but had increased his use of power tools to such an extent that the noise had become intolerable.
Van Heerden, who implied that Pedro must be running a business from his home in a suburban area because of his frequent use of power tools, applied for an interdict for him to confine his use of power tools to three weekdays and one Saturday a month, and not at all on Sundays.
She said in an affidavit she was sometimes forced to flee to her father over weekends to get some peace and quiet as Pedro used power tools, which made an excessive noise, for hours at a time.
Her application, which was opposed by Pedro, was yesterday postponed so that further papers could be filed by both sides. She insisted Pedro’s conduct was unreasonable and that he was “barraging” her with the noise to “teach her a lesson”.
Pedro, in turn, accused Van Heerden of being unreasonable and said he believed she was oversensitive to noise.
He denied running a business from home or that his use of power tools was excessive and accused Van Heerden – whom he had never even met – of trying to stop him from enjoying his hobbies, which included training racing pigeons, breeding parrots and building a metal bookrack for his daughter.
He said he had to grind the aviaries loose to move them, which took him two weeks, and also had to grind paving to fix a borehole pump connection.