News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
1 minute read
21 Sep 2017
6:05 am

City of Tshwane trying to bankrupt us, says Moipone group

Ilse de Lange

In March, Moipone got an interim court order compelling the city to comply with its contractual obligations.

The Moipone group of companies has accused the Tshwane municipality of deliberately trying to bankrupt them by failing to accept delivery of 187 waste-removal trucks it ordered and not paying their outstanding bills totalling up to R100 million.

In the latest skirmish in the legal war between Moipone and the city, Moipone yesterday asked the High Court in Pretoria to force the city to accept delivery of the waste vehicles it ordered, pay the outstanding invoices and interdict it from appointing or buying vehicles from other service providers.

The group secured the five-year tender in respect of Tshwane’s fleet of vehicles and fleet-related services after a year-long tender process, but the city first attempted to cancel the contract and then launched review proceedings to have it set aside.

In March, Moipone got an interim court order compelling the city to comply with its contractual obligations and prohibiting it from signing contracts with other service providers for its fleet, pending the final determination of the validity of their public-private partnership agreement.

When the city allegedly ignored the order, Moipone returned to court to compel the city either to comply or to have city manager Moeketsi Masola jailed for a month for contempt of court.

The city denied being in contempt of court, relying on a court order issued in June allowing it to use other service providers.

Advocate Linde Putter SC, for Moipone, said the city made payments in terms of the agreement, but when it was compelled to pay the full amounts it contended it could not be called on to do so as the agreement was invalid, which was in contempt.

The city was determined to frustrate Moipone’s business operations and force it into liquidation as it wished to extricate itself from the agreement, he added.