Preservation order preventing former water board CEO access to his pension lapses

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Lepelle Northern Water offices in Polokwane, Limpopo.
Lepelle Northern Water offices in Polokwane, Limpopo.
PHOTO: Deaan Vivier
  • A preservation order interdicting the release of the pension of former Lepelle Northern Water CEO Phineas Legodi's pension has lapsed.
  • The SIU said this was because the Sheriff of the Court did not deliver a summons to him notifying him of proceedings on time.
  • The SIU said it would approach the court urgently for a new order and investigate what took the sheriff so long.

The preservation order preventing the release of the pension of the former CEO of Lepelle Northern Water amid a probe lapsed because the Sheriff of the Court failed to deliver a summons to him on time.

"We will do it again. We will do an urgent application," said Special Investigating Unit (SIU) spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

The SIU would also look into why the sheriff "did not do what he was supposed to do".

The preservation order was to interdict and restrain the release of the pension of Phineas Legodi.

The Mail and Guardian reported in August that Legodi was suspended pending a probe into alleged maladministration at the entity, a month after an interim board was appointed by Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Legodi resigned after being placed on precautionary suspension.

SIU ordered to pay costs

The SIU's Special Tribunal is tasked with speedily recovering public funds "syphoned from the fiscus through corruption, fraud and illicit money flows".

In a statement on Tuesday, the Special Tribunal said the interim order, dated 4 September 2020, had interdicted and restrained the Municipal Employees Union Retirement from releasing Legodi’s pension benefits pending the outcome of action proceedings to be instituted with the Special Tribunal within 30 days thereof.

"However on Tuesday, the SIU could not confirm to Judge [Lebogang] Modiba that the summons commencing action proceedings was served within the 30-day period," tribunal spokesperson Selby Makgotho said.

Modiba declared the SIU must pay the party-to-party costs, as well as the costs of the two counsels representing Legodi.

According to the tribunal, Legodi's counsel argued he was only served a summons via email after the prescribed 30 days.

Sisulu previously told SABC the Lepelle board had been mired in controversy over the escalating costs of the Giyani project.

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