Premier is raided
GAUTENG premier Nomvula Mokonyane's security yesterday reportedly prevented the deputy sheriff of the Johannesburg High Court from collecting furniture worth R10-million from her office.
Mokonyane's office furniture was attached in October after her office failed to pay off medical costs for 12-year-old Sibusiso Khanyi, who was born brain damaged.
This happened due to negligence by staff at Pholosong Hospital and the family sued the Gauteng government.
Mokonyane's spokesman Xoli Mngambi confirmed yesterday that the sheriff of the court had come to the offices to remove goods.
"The premier was not in the office at the time. She had gone to visit schools and communities the whole day," Mngambi said.
"I heard the sheriff had gone to the office to collect property. We have spoken to our legal department and a meeting was held with the sheriff to resolve the matter."
But sources at Mokonyane's office, who were present during the sheriff's visit, claimed there was tension between the Red Ants and the premier's security, who had blocked them when they attempted to remove furniture.
"The security staff closed all doors and told the Red Ants, who were with the sheriff, that they would not be allowed to remove furniture.
"But the Red Ants were insisting that they should be allowed to do their work because there was a court order," said a source.
DA leader in the legislature Jack Bloom, who witnessed the stand-off, said almost all the furniture at Mokonyane's 13th floor offices was attached by the sheriff in October.
"The sheriff was there to remove furniture as the premier had failed to respond to the court payment order.
"Her lawyers appealed the judgement, but that appeal had lapsed," Bloom said.
"It is an utter disgrace that the premier has failed to obey this court order that would assist Khanyi's struggling family to look after him."
It is a criminal offence in terms of the Supreme Court Act to obstruct the sheriff in carrying out their duties.
"Mokonyane should obey the law just like everyone else and pay the full amount in good time," Bloom said.
"It's a very sad day for our province when the premier defies the law."