Umtshezi pays firm after ruling

2010-05-10 00:00

UMTSHEZI local municipality has paid R4,2 million of the more than R7 million lawsuit it was slapped with after CSM Consulting Ltd won a court order forcing the municipality to pay the millions early last month.

The final payment is expected to be made on May 15.

The Witness recently reported that CSM had taken the municipality to court for failure to pay for contract work done to renovate Ikhwezi hostel in Estcourt.

The sheriff of the court served the municipality with court papers, ordering the payment of more than R7 million. Failure to pay could have led to the sheriff attaching movable assets from the civic building and bank accounts, if need be, to recover the money.

Municipal manager Nonhlanhla Njoko attributed the lawsuit to a “little dispute”, which had since been “resolved”, between the municipality and the company about payment.

At the time, CSM legal representative Julian von Klemperer said that his client had waited for about six months for the payment for the work done in the renovation project, funded by the Housing Department.

Yesterday Von Klemperer confirmed the payment and further stated that the agreement is for the municipality to make the final payment by Saturday.

“That’s the agreement and I know nothing different from that,” he said.

A source at the municipality said the appointment of a professional team for the project from within the department by CSM has led to the fallout between the parties concerned.

“Senior officials from within the department informed us that MEC Maggie Govender was not happy with the appointment of the professional team from her department. As the funder, the department has the right to query where it is not satisfied,” said the source.

On Friday, MEC Govender was not aware of a professional team being sourced from her department, saying that all she knew was that she was dissatisfied with the costing of the project and demanded its review.

“The position was that we were overcharged, so that’s the only thing that had to be dealt with. We would approve the appointment of a professional team for the project, but not from my department.

“You can’t be a player and referee at the same time. I’m still waiting for a report for full details about this appointment,” said Govender.

Njoko did not respond to SMSes sent to her yesterday.

DA councillor in the area, LeRoy Gericke, said the issue of the lawsuit has delayed much-needed service to the people of Estcourt, and that council has not been informed.

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