Lawyer attaches Kaizer Motaung's bank account

Kaizer Motaung and his wife Julegka are fighting back.
Kaizer Motaung and his wife Julegka are fighting back.
Image: Thembinkosi Dwayisa

Kaizer Chiefs founder and chairman Kaizer Motaung is locked in a bitter legal battle with the family's former lawyer after the sheriff attached R375,000 from his bank account in November last year using a subpoena issued by the South Gauteng high court.

The attachment follows a default judgment granted against Motaung by the court on September 20 2018 for payment of the sum of R3 055 188 plus interest and legal costs.

The bill was allegedly owed for legal services rendered to their son Kaizer Motaung Jnr. 

The family's former lawyer Steve Merchak has apparently vowed to attach further assets belonging to Motaung Snr to satisfy the court judgment.

Sunday World can reveal that these events have now triggered a legal fightback by the Motaungs, who filed an 800-page counter application against Merchak on Christmas eve, seeking to set aside the default judgment together with various other orders against their former attorney.

The family has now asked the court to set aside all attachments of assets and an order that the R375,000 taken from Motaung senior's bank account be returned. In addition, they want the fee agreement signed by Motaung Snr's wife Julegka be declared not binding on the joint estate of Motaung Snr and his wife.

They also want Merchak's legal bill to be assessed by an independent expert and that he pays the legal costs of their application on a punitive scale.

The attachment orders seen by Sunday World shows that they were all obtained against Motaung Snr's bank accounts and assets, something which appears to have enraged the football icon and his family.

Kaizer Motaung Junior has yet to settle payment for his legal fees.
Kaizer Motaung Junior has yet to settle payment for his legal fees.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

According to a writ of execution seen by Sunday World, dated October 30 2018, some of the assets targeted by the sheriff included four of Motaung Snr's bank accounts.

Others assets include movable assets such as motor vehicles, office furniture and equipment all of which, if effected, are to be collected at the Kaizer Chiefs Village in Naturena, south of Joburg. The writ of execution also shows that the sheriff had also set his sights on Motaung Snr's shares in several companies where Motaung Snr is listed as a director.

In the papers, through an affidavit, Motaung Snr argues that he cannot be held liable for the R3m legal bill raked in by his son, Kaizer Jnr, and neither can his joint estate with his wife. This, he said was because he did not consent for his wife to enter into an agreement with Steve Merchak Attorneys to represent his son.

In challenging the court judgment against him, Motaung Snr argued that his wife, Julegka entered into the agreement with Merchak without his knowledge.

Before launching their application against the lawyer, Motaung Snr, apparently demanded a written undertaking that they will not attach the assets in his communal estate pending the challenge to his legal bill.

"On or about July 2015. unknown to me, my wife signed a "standard terms of engagement" in favour of Merchak containing terms upon which his professional services were engaged to act on behalf of Jnr in his divorce matter (and ultimately in other matters in which Merchak has rendered services to Jnr).

My wife never told me that she signed the agreement. My wife never presented the agreement to me for my consideration or signature," said Motaung Snr in his affidavit.

He further said that his wife and Merchak failed to obtain his written consent to incur expenses on behalf of his joint estate, as is a requirement by the Matrimonial Property Act.

"I am not liable to pay Merchak; and Our joint estate is not liable to pay Merchak; and Merchak has no cause of action against me and the judgement that he obtained has no basis in law," reads the documents.

According to his court papers, Motaung Snr said he only became aware of the matter after receiving a call from Merchak, which only came when payment became a problem.

Motaung further argued that despite his knowledge that they were married in community of property, Merchak failed to obtain his consent to the fee agreement.

In the same application, Motaung Snr also claims he made payments to Merchak as loans to his son Jnr towards settling the legal bill. "Jnr must repay the loans, that is our agreement. These facts do not render our joint estate (or myself personally) liable to pay Merchak," reads the affidavit.

Motaung Snr argues that simply because they helped Jnr to pay some of the legal bills does not mean they accepted liability for the bills. He also argues the bills are "heavily disputed".

Motaung accused Merchak of trying to litigate them against all costs, stating that he failed to provide taxable bills of the legal costs requested by his son before he took judgement against them.

He also stated that Merchak refused to provide a breakdown of his legal bills and as such had left his son Junior and the family to distrust the correctness of Merchak's past bills. "Merchak never responded to Jnr's emails with accounts properly broken down," reads the papers.

Motaung says that he refused to accept service by the Sheriff when the summons were brought to him at his club's address in Naturena and believed that there was no obligation on him to defend the summons.

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