Residents get municipality to pay

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Though top officials of Blouberg take home nearly R90000 a month, the finances of the municipality are always in a shambles.

Yesterday work came to a standstill at the municipality when the sheriff of the Makhado magistrate's court delivered a letter to attach assets such as a tipper truck, a bulldozer , a water tanker and a compressor .

Municipal mayor Refilwe Kubjana and manager Isaac Makhura were not present when the sheriff arrived to carry out the order - they were at a SA Local Government Association meeting in Ghana.

The chief finance officer of the municipality was attending another meeting elsewhere.

A source at the municipality said a junior official was ordered by management, through transAtlantic communication, to authorise the payment of R100000 via electronic transfer.

The amount should have been authorised by the full council but the situation at the municipality forced management to ignore the policy and allow a junior official to authorise the payment.

The courts have tried several times to attach the municipality's assets after it was unable to honour several court orders to pay money amounting to thousands of rands.

Among others things the municipality has been ordered to pay out residents of Desmond Park, whose shacks were demolished by the municipality early this year without its first obtaining a court order.

Sixty-seven shacks were illegally demolished, leaving residents homeless.

The residents challenged the municipality and the court ruled in their favour.

The municipality appealed against the ruling and lost again for the third time. The court ordered the municipality to rebuild the shacks within 14 days but the municipality failed to comply.

The court sent a sheriff to attach the municipality's assets to recover the money lost by the residents in legal fees.

The lawyer representing the Desmond Park families, Clifford Malatji, said there were a further two court orders still pending against the municipality.