bus firm takes varsity for a ride

Chester Makana

A legal battle is looming between the University of Venda and vehicles manufacturer MAN Truck and Bus over "an old bus".

The university has instructed its attorneys to reclaim R1,5million the university says it paid the company for an "old bus".

University management yesterday claimed that the company sold them an old bus, while they had paid for a new one.

Manie du Preez of Booysens du Preez and Boshoff attorneys confirmed that they were instructed by the university to claim a new bus or money back.

The university said it had paid R1,5million for the bus in October after trading in the bus it was using. But MAN management is denying Univen's claim and has vowed to defend the matter in court.

Univen's legal adviser Nanga Lidovho said they had instructed their lawyers to claim the university's money back and the bus they traded in, or that MAN supply them with a new bus as per their requirement.

Lidovho said they discovered that the bus MAN supplied them with was not new when it was delivered. He said they ordered the company to take it back.

Lidovho said they were given was "rebuilt" bus.

The company allegedly wrote back: "Should you choose to institute legal proceedings as per your letter dated May 5, kindly know that such proceedings will be defended."

The university said it had been forced to use private bus operators to transport students and workers while they had paid for a bus they have never used.

"We told them that their bus is old. The company sent its inspectors twice and they confirmed that the bus was old. We want our money back or a new bus," Lidovho said.

He said they had wasted a lot of money hiring private operators while they had used money to buy a bus that is not working.

MAN Middelburg representative Deon Otto confirmed the sale and transaction between his company and the university.

But he declined to comment and said the matter was being handled by their legal department. He also referred the matter to his company's communications unit.