Administrative bungle means claim left unpaid

2010-07-10 13:30

The justice department has agreed to

investigate an ­alleged administrative ­bungle which may have left a maintenance

beneficiary out of pocket.

This follows Hotline’s enquiry ­into claims that an Mpumalanga

maintenance court failed to ­timeously issue an order instructing a pension fund

office to release a portion of the payout to one of its members to a

beneficiary.

As a result, Mpho Ramongane ­received all his benefits.

A disgruntled Duduzile Mahlangu, the mother of 21-year-old

­Ramongane, the beneficiary, contacted Hotline after fighting a losing battle

with officials over the matter.

She said: “I am being sent from one office to the next. University

fees are costly and we need the money to settle the account.”

In May last year, maintenance payments from Ramongane senior

stopped and after investigating, Mahlangu found that the boy’s ­father had

resigned from his job.

She also learnt that he had ­already applied for his pension

­benefit, which was administered by the Metal Industries Pension Fund

(MIPF).

She then informed the ­Middleburg Magistrates Court.

A court date was set and ­Ramongane was issued with a court order

instructing him to pay R15 000 on receipt of his pension. This did not

happen.

A copy of the court order was ­issued to the MIPF but the funds

were ­released without deducting the ­portion as instructed.

After struggling to resolve the matter for almost a year, Mahlangu

decided to contact Hotline and we referred the complaint to the MIPF and the

justice department.

Helen Vorster, a senior official at the MIPF, said her office

contacted the department of justice on ­November 13 before paying

­Ramongane.

She said the court order they ­received was dated November 24 –

days after their former member had received his money.

Vorster said: “Any claims must be made directly to

Ramongane.”

Justice department spokesperson Collen Msibi said they would

­investigate the matter.


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