Mayor of Johannesburg facing arrest

Johannesburg mayor, Parks Tau, is facing a contempt of court order - this is the second one issued in recent weeks.

In the most recent incident, the managing agents of a Randburg complex have disputed a municipal bill that states they owe the city over R2.6 million for electricity.

The managing agents of Castle Hill took the city to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in June 2012 when attempts to get the city's billing department to rectify the account failed.

The court ordered the city to repair or replace the electricity meter, to adjust the accounts and issue a full statement within 15 days.

This was ignored and in November last year the managing agent, Stuart Fyfe, went back to court for a contempt of court order application which was granted.

The city was given three months to once again rectify the situation. This has since been ignored.

Fyfe said the complex had had billing problems since 2008 and had been trying to resolve the matter with the council, with no success.

The complex was being billed estimates, instead of on its actual consumption.

The problem was identified by an electric forensic auditor as a meter programming problem.

He confirmed, in the court papers, that the meter had been incorrectly programmed and that the voltage transformer ratio was incorrect, leading to a 51.5 percent discrepancy in usage.

Although the city later replaced the meter, it remained 'dysfunctional in that it was still incorrectly programmed', he said.

In the contempt of court order, Judge AJ Beltramo said it was 'manifestly plain that the respondents took no steps to negotiate a resolution of the dispute'. The city argued that it could not comply with the initial court order and issue an account because the meter was faulty and it was therefore not able to give correct figures.

The judge found the city to be in contempt of court and ordered the city to pay a fine of R10 000 within 90 days and to issue a correct account, which has not happened.

Fyfe said that the city was responsible for about R500 000 of legal fees to date.

As head of the city, Tau is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the billing department responds to the court order.

This is the second contempt of court order against the mayor. The Star reported last week that Tau and his mayoral committee were ordered to pay a fine of R50 000 for contempt of court after the city refused to issue the Hellenic Community with a correct bill.

In that case, Judge CH Nicholls ordered that the papers should be served personally on Tau and the head of legal services at the city.

The city, in response to the Randburg complex issue, said by law it was not allowed to discuss or give out any private and confidential information regarding its customers.

'The city has noted the court matter by the Hellenic Community and is currently studying the judgment against the facts of this case. The city wishes to assure all ratepayers that significant progress has been made in improving the efficiency of our billing system and maintained a strong and robust financial position. All queries raised with the city are addressed effectively as a matter of (course). The city's legal department is currently arranging a meeting with this particular client,' said Nthatisi Modingoane, spokesman for the city.

(Via The Star)

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 28 Oct 2016
      “The City of Cape Town’s announcement on the 18th October that Level 3 water restrictions will be implemented as of the 1st November 2016, is a warning to all households in the Cape that we’re in for a dry summer and that serious consideration needs to be given to the way in which water is consumed,” says Annette Evans, general manager of the Institute of Estate Agents of SA, Western Cape.
    • 27 Oct 2016
      Situated in one of the oldest towns in South Africa, our Property Pick of the day is a modern beauty in the popular Capolavoro, Stellenbosch.
    • 27 Oct 2016
      It’s hot, it’s bold, and as it continues to attract more multibillion-rand residential and retail property developments – and more ultra-wealthy international investors - Umhlanga is increasingly looking like South Africa’s own Dubai.
    • 27 Oct 2016
      Massive economic investment and a new local government in Port Elizabeth are expected to boost high value home buying in the city.
    • 27 Oct 2016
      Sandton’s status as South Africa’s financial hub has to a large extent cushioned the suburb’s sectional title market, with demand for residential property remaining consistent despite the economic slump and weaker buyer sentiment.
    • 27 Oct 2016
      While provisions have been set in the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA) (which became effective on the 7th October 2016) for a reserve fund to be established for future maintenance and repair work to common property in sectional title schemes, there might still be the need for special levies to be raised in certain circumstances.
    • 26 Oct 2016
      Situated on a double stand with views over the Crocodile River in the popular in Featherbrooke Estate, Krugersdorp is our Property Pick of the day!
    • 26 Oct 2016
      Knowing that you’re ready to sell your home and actually listing it for sale are two different things – with the latter action often being delayed by your desire to find the “perfect” time to move.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us