KSD car kept as damages for assault
Council only recently became aware of court case, blames deceased official
One of the six Toyota Corolla sedans bought to bolster King Sabata Dalindyebo municipal fleet last year, was attached this week after the local authority failed to settle a R150,000 lawsuit by one of its residents.
Acting on a Mthatha High Court ruling, the sheriff attached the car on Thursday.
But KSD municipal spokesperson Sonwabo Mampoza said they never received any summons while adding that they only became aware of the matter last month. The lawsuit was brought by Luntu Mda against KSD and municipal traffic officer Aubrey Mkhululi Mbelane late in 2017 after Mda was assaulted by Mbelane while urinating in Madeira Street in broad daylight.
Mda could not be reached for comment at the time of writing, but his lawyer Tanduxolo Qina of T. Qina &Sons told the Daily Dispatch that his client had been assaulted, tortured and handcuffed during his ordeal.
“He was taken to Madeira police station and detained for five hours,” he said.
“He was then released without being charged.”
The Dispatch has seen a copy of a court order from the Mthatha regional court relating to a case brought by Mda against KSD and Mbelane dated September 14 last year.
The order stated it was satisfied Mda had substantiated his claim for damages for the unlawful assault.
The order said Mda should be paid R80,000 for unlawful assault and torture, and R70,000 for pain and suffering. The sheriff was instructed to attach assets to the value of R150,523.83, which includes interest.
Qina said he wrote two letters to KSD, one in October last year and another in January, demanding that the municipality pay the money.
“I was doing them a courtesy but they did not reply on both occasions,” he said.
He told the paper the sheriff had attached one of the cars on Thursday.
Mampoza confirmed this, saying the vehicle was one of many purchased last year. The Dispatch last year reported on the new fleet’s unveiling. Mampoza implied that Mbelane, who has died since the incident with Mda, had handled the matter on his own.
“We only became aware of it when we received a letter [from Qina] demanding payment. It seems that Mr Mbelane was handling the matter himself as an individual.”
But when told about this, Qina questioned why the name of the municipality would appear in the case when they were never notified.
He also insisted that he was not going to back down on this matter, saying he would advertise for an auction of the car if the municipality was not willing to pay up...