Tasima gets temporary victory in battle for eNaTIS

Technology company Tasima has been given a glimmer of hope in its battle to hold on to the multimillion contract it has with the transport department to manage the eNaTIS system.

Pretoria High Court Judge Wendy Hughes on Monday granted Tasima leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against the judgment she passed on June 23.

Tasima had sought the court to declare that transfer period of eNaTIS and its services was five years‚ while the Department of Transport launched a counter-application declaring that the contract had been invalid from 2010 when its then director-general George Mahlalela purported to extend the contract for five years until May this year.

In June‚ Judge Hughes reviewed and set aside the decision of Mahlalela to extend the contract. She also found that the extended contract which took effect from May 2010 was invalid from the beginning. She also dismissed Tasima’s application that the contract hand-over period should be five years.

In her June order‚ Hughes also said the transport department was required to request the transfer of the eNaTIS system and related services within five days of the date of the order‚ and the transfer was to be completed within 30 days from the date of the request.

“In this application‚ I am of the view that leave to appeal should be granted to the Supreme Court of Appeal…as it in it the interests of justice that the issue of legality and constitutionality of the contract‚ which is the source of both the main application and the counter-application…requires the consideration of the Supreme Court of Appeal to make a much needed determination once and for all‚” Hughes said on Monday.

While Tasima immediately noted its intention to appeal the judgment of June‚ the department applied and obtained an order on August 28 to enforce the order of June 23 with immediate effect.

According to the Superior Courts Act‚ Tasima has an automatic right of appeal to the next highest court‚ in this case the full bench. The order of August 28 would be automatically suspended‚ pending the outcome of the appeal.

This means that the running of the eNaTIS contract would remain in the hands of Tasima until the decision on appeal is made by the full bench‚ which will sit soon.

The department said after the judgment it was unfortunate that the handover of the eNaTIS was being delayed because of the pending appeal processes. However‚ it said the law needed to be allowed to take its course.

Tasima said it had decided not to engage with the media on the matter.