Former agriculture department CFO can get his pension after tribunal finds interdict has lapsed

08 March 2021 - 16:38
An interdict stopping the payment of pension benefits for former agriculture, land reform and rural development CFO Jacob Basil Hlatshwayo has lapsed. The government pension fund had been interdicted from paying Hlatshwayo after an investigation into PPE tender irregularities. Stock photo.
An interdict stopping the payment of pension benefits for former agriculture, land reform and rural development CFO Jacob Basil Hlatshwayo has lapsed. The government pension fund had been interdicted from paying Hlatshwayo after an investigation into PPE tender irregularities. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Oksana Smyshliaeva

The Special Tribunal has declared that the interdict not to pay the pension fund of former CFO of the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development Jacob Basil Hlatshwayo has lapsed.

On December 17 last year, the Special Investigating Unit successfully applied to interdict the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) from paying benefits due to Hlatshwayo after its investigation into tender irregularities at the department.

The SIU alleges Hlatshwayo irregularly and unlawfully awarded a tender valued at R11.5m to a corporate entity called Black Dot to supply the department with Covid-19 personal protective equipment. This was in breach of the instructions issued by the National Treasury to regulate emergency procurement in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Judge Lebogang Modiba granted the interdict in December on condition that the SIU institutes an action against Hlatshwayo by March 1.

The SIU did not comply with this condition, hence the interdict lapsed.

After declaring the interdict to have lapsed, Modiba removed the matter from the roll and ordered the SIU to pay Hlatshwayo’s wasted costs occasioned by the removal.

Hlatshwayo was dismissed from his position in October for misconducted unrelated to this tender. His dismissal entitled him to withdraw his pension benefits from the GEPF.

The SIU obtained the interdict to prevent the withdrawal and payment of Hlatshwayo’s pension benefits pending the action it intends instituting against Hlatshwayo to recover any damages or fruitless expenditure resulting from awarding the tender to Black Dot.

The SIU indicated to Modiba that it intends bringing an application to revive the lapsed interdict.

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