Property row in court

2014-10-16 00:00

THE Endumeni (Dundee) Municipality has gone to court to recover its property from a recalcitrant former councillor.

Ex-councillor Hassen Ngobese who represented ward four in Endumeni, allegedly threatened to shoot municipal officials sent to collect the items from the garage where they are stored last month.

Rosemary Griffiths (56), who was one of the officials who were instructed to go and collect the goods, said in court papers that after failing to get the items, which are allegedly locked in a garage at the home of Abigail Biyela, she was “verbally abused” by Ngobese in the office of the deputy mayor.

“He threatened to shoot me if I ever return to Ms Biyela’s house,” she said.

She added that as Ngobese continued to “hurl profanities” at her, the deputy mayor failed to intervene.

A day later when she and new ward four councillor, Dudu Ncala, were on their way to lay criminal charges of crimen injuria and intimidation against Ngobese, he saw them and again abused them.

“He again threatened to kill us should we ever attempt to recover the property,” she said.

Judge King Ndlovu granted an urgent interim interdict yesterday calling on Ngobese and Biyela to show cause on November 5 why the property in question should not be returned to Endumeni municipality “forthwith”.

If they fail to comply, the sheriff will be authorised to take steps to recover the items with the help of the police if necessary.

Pending finalisation of the case, Ngobese and Biyela were ordered not to dispose of any of the property.

It includes a number of block making, sewing and embroidery machines and other equipment given to Ngobese in the course of his duties as councillor, which were allocated to two community co-operatives.

They were for use in community upliftment projects such as job creation and skills development.

He also allegedly still has a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 3 plus Sim card, and an HP Probook 4530S embedded laptop and printer belonging to the municipality, which he has failed to return.

Desiga Padayachee, acting executive manager for corporate services for Endumeni municipality, said Ngobese resigned as ward four councillor in March this year, and then stood for election as an independent candidate when a by-election was held in ward four in July this year.

He was unsuccessful because the election was won by ANC councillor Dudu Pretty Ncala.

Padayachee said Ngobese is not entitled to keep any of the property, which belongs to Endumeni municipality.

He said the ward four councillor (now Ncala) has an “oversight role” to play in the community upliftment projects and Ncala must now take charge of the equipment.

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