(CMR) Local property developer Morne Botes is suing local environmental activist and CPR member Linda Clark for defamation over comments made on a Facebook public group called Cayman Development Group. The Writ of Summons was filed on June 7, 2021.
The general indorsement states that the Plaintiff is seeking damages for libel for a post “made and first published on or around May 9. He was also seeking a permanent injunction to restrain the Defendant from further publishing or causing to be published the same or any similar defamatory or malicious falsehoods concerning the Plaintiffs.
Whilst Clark is unable to comment on the matter, persons familiar with the situation indicated that no one was named in the post that Botes is now complaining about so he may be jumping to premature conclusions about who it was referring to. However, Botes name has come up recently in relation to a new development by Coe Group Ltd. close to Barkers Beach in West Bay.
He sold the preconstruction units for Barkers Beach Resort boasting on social media that they sold out the units in 80 minutes. Whilst advertisements for the multi-million dollar units mention the fresh air and powder-soft sand; objectors felt that it was an environmentally sensitive area that needed protection. There were questions regarding the setback, turtle nesting, and the natural vegetation being impacted by the 20 unit boutique beach resort.
This latest project is located just half a mile west of Barkers National Park. Former CPA member, Joseph Coe and Morne Botes are co-owners.
In another Facebook group called Preserve Barkers there were objectors asking questions and providing commentary some argue no different than that of Clark and none of them have been the subject of any litigation.
Botes is also the developer of the Boggy Sand Club and was involved in other litigation related to a right of way access point in 2016.
Linda Clark has a degree in marine environmental management. She has been involved in a number of projects aimed at protecting Cayman's environment including the Cruise Port Referendum group that took on the Progressives government over the building a cruise and port facility in the George Town harbor.