Court orders Gauteng human settlements dept to pay R220m debt

2016-11-29 19:49
(Naledi Shange, News24)

(Naledi Shange, News24)

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Johannesburg – Gauteng’s human settlements department has been ordered to pay relocation and eviction company Red Ant more than R220 million in unpaid debt.

The sheriff of the court arrived at the department’s office on Tuesday and started attaching furniture, spokesperson Keith Khoza told News24.

On October 21, the High Court in Johannesburg ordered the department to pay Red Ant Security Relocation and Eviction Services for carrying out urgent evictions from government property.

“As a department, we acknowledge that we do owe them their money. We have been paying it, but not as much as they expected. The Red Ants want us to pay everything that we owe.

“We have not said we will not pay. The issue was how we get the money.”

Khoza said the department could not afford to repay the entire amount and would need to speak to Treasury to access more funds.

He said department officials were expecting members of the company’s management to arrive so they could discuss solutions.

“We are hoping that we will find an amicable solution in terms of what we can pay now.”

According to the order handed down by Judge Ellen Jacob Francis, the department had to pay R220,135,724.60 and interest at the rate of 10.25% per annum from October 28, 2014 to the date of payment.

The department was ordered to pay the Red Ant’s legal costs.

It was not clear over what time period the department incurred the debt. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

The department's lawyer would approach the high court on Wednesday to challenge the decision.


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