/ 8 June 2011

Pay up, Dexter tells Shilowa in Cope legal-fees spat

Pay Up

Mbhazima Shilowa’s house will be auctioned off unless he pays Congress of the People (Cope) president Mosiuoa Lekota’s legal fees, the party’s head of communications said on Wednesday.

“The sheriff has gone to attach the property and then he [Shilowa] is given the opportunity to pay the money,” Phillip Dexter said.

“If he does not pay then the house will be auctioned off.”

This was a decision handed down by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, he said.

In May 2010 at a weekend congress, delegates passed a vote of no-confidence in Lekota as president of Cope and elected Shilowa, who was deputy president, as acting president.

Lekota challenged the vote of no-confidence in court, claiming it was an illegal process that was not meant to take place at the conference.

The vote was taken after Lekota obtained an interdict preventing the congress from holding elections.

‘We are not aware of anything’
South Gauteng High Court Judge Rami Mathopo ruled that the conference that passed the vote of no-confidence in Lekota was illegal.

Shilowa was prevented from interfering with Cope MPs in Parliament and ordered to pay Lekota’s legal costs.

Dexter said there were a number of cases where it was ordered that Shilowa pay the legal fees.

“There were a number of cases, on at least four or five of them he [Shilowa] was ordered to pay the legal fees,” he said.

Shilowa’s spokesperson, Sipho Ngwema, said Shilowa did not know anything about his house being attached because he did not receive a letter of demand.

“We are not aware of anything,” he said.

“He [Shilowa] was never served with papers saying he must pay. No house has been attached.”

Ngwema said Shilowa would not be taking the matter further.

“They gave the story to the Times not him [Shilowa], so we are not aware of anything and nothing is going to happen to him,” Ngwema said. — Sapa