Trader turns to court over power bill

2011-02-23 00:00

THE owner of a tyre repair business, Musa Tyres, in Burrows Street, Blackridge, has obtained an urgent interim interdict in the high court to prevent Msunduzi Municipality from disconnecting his electricity supply due to allegations that he “tampered” with his electricity meters and owes more than R78 000.

This sum is said to be for electricity consumed that was not reflected by the meters due to alleged tampering.

In his affidavit, Musawenkosi Bhekukwenza Ngubane denies he tampered with, or was aware of any tampering with his electricity meters.

He said his problems started when employees of the municipality arrived on August 17 last year and in his absence removed two electricity meters. They alleged he had tampered with them.

In September his electricity account suddenly reflected the “huge amount” of R80 199,59 (a portion of which he allegedly paid, reducing the amount owing to R78 318,15).

The accounts department told him this sum was an “estimate for the electricity consumed and not reflected by the meters due to my tampering”.

He was refused permission to inspect the meters, he said.

Ngubane said Vinay Maharaj from the department told him on September 13 that they had photographs of the “tampered meters” but also refused to allow him to see the photographs.

He said that after the electricity meters were removed he continued to use electricity via extension cords he ran from his house on the same premises. He said that since then his electricity accounts continued to reflect similar amounts to those he had paid throughout 2010. Copies of invoices dating back to February 2010 are attached to the court documents.

Ngubane said that during January and February, employees of the municipality have come to his premises on various occasions to disconnect his electricity but he managed to persuade them not to do so by explaining that the matter of the alleged arrears of over R78 000 on his account is under investigation.

The return date on which the municipality is to respond is March 21.

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