Court orders goods of Limpopo premier's office to be attached in compensation dispute

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Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha.
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha.
Daily Sun
  • The Office of the Premier in Limpopo has filed an urgent bid to halt the removal of attached goods for auction.
  • A former staffer was granted a writ of execution after the office failed to pay him just over R250 000 as compensation for being unlawfully suspended.
  • The office has launched a counter claim, saying the move was vexatious and in bad faith.

The Office of the Premier in Limpopo has filed an urgent application in the Labour Court to interdict former government spokesperson Phuti Seloba from attaching goods for auction over unpaid compensation.

Seloba was granted a writ of execution after the office failed to pay him more than R250 000 as compensation for being unlawfully suspended before he was dismissed more than a year ago.

READ | Hawks confirm probe into Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha

Several cars, laptops and other equipment have already been attached by the Polokwane Sheriff and wait to be removed and auctioned off. 

The office has now approached the Labour Court on an urgent basis, seeking to set aside the writ of execution pending a counterclaim against Seloba.

In an affidavit, the office's director-general, Nape Nchabeleng, argued, among others, the conduct of the respondents was intended to embarrass the Office of the Premier.

The respondents cited are the Polokwane Sheriff, the General Public Service Bargaining Council and commissioner Christopher Mannde who has since died.

Bad faith

The fourth and fifth respondents are the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (on behalf of Seloba) and Norman Mavhunga who is the union's branch chairperson.

Mavhunga has been cited in his personal capacity for the purpose of costs.

In his affidavit, Nchabeleng said the writ of execution was vexatious and made in bad faith.

He added Seloba had brought two applications to interdict a disciplinary process against him.

The applications were dismissed with costs. 

Nchabeleng said his attorney of record, Hermina Maponya, had telephoned Seloba for the sole purpose of requesting an undertaking from him not to proceed with the attachment and writ of execution.

Seloba apparently refused.

"The conduct of the fourth and fifth respondents are abusive of the legal process and made only with [the] intention to embarrass and inconvenience the applicant [the Office of the Premier].

"The removal of the assets and the sale on auction will cause irreparable harm to the applicant and faster service delivery to the public at large in Limpopo would be affected," Nchabeleng said.

Provincial government spokesperson Ndavhe Ramakuela confirmed the urgent application.

"The counterclaim application will also be heard at the Labour Court once the urgent application is granted," Ramakuela said.

In a statement, the union said it believed the application by the office was a desperate attempt to intimidate its leadership.

"This is the result of the Office of the Premier trying to undermine the order of the court.

"It's shocking that these acts are carried out by people claiming to be communists," the statement read.

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