Firm loses po­lice uni­forms court chal­lenge

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

A LO­CAL com­pany that sup­plies pro­tec­tive cloth­ing to the govern­ment, Smally Trad­ing Com­pany, on Tues­day lost a court bid to nul­lify the con­tract the govern­ment en­tered into with four com­pa­nies to sup­ply po­lice uni­forms.

The com­pany ap­proached the High Court on 14 April 2016 con­test­ing the ten­der con­tract be­tween the govern­ment and Lekhotla Matšaba, Cubana Shells, Cubana Shells Hold­ings (Pty) Ltd and Naledi Out­door Ad­ver­tis­ing (Pty) Ltd.

Smally Trad­ing Com­pany also wanted the court to stop the Min­istry of Po­lice’s Pro­cure­ment Unit, Deputy Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary, Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice and the Min­istry of Po­lice and Pub­lic Safety, from dis­burs­ing any funds to the ear­lier men­tioned com­pa­nies pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the case.

But the High Court on Tues­day dis­missed the ap­pli­ca­tion with costs.

In her rul­ing, Jus­tice Lisebo Chaka-makhooane said the court had no ju­ris­dic­tion to hear the ap­pli­ca­tion be­cause there was a manda­tory pro­ce­dure that the ap­pli­cant should have fol­lowed be­fore ap­proach­ing the court.

“Dur­ing ar­gu­ments, the re­spon­dents who were duly rep­re­sented by Mr ( Sale­mane) Phafane KC, Mr (Shale) Shale and Mr (Te­balo) Pot­sane re­spec­tively, raised nu­mer­ous points of law, which are as fol­lows: that it was im­proper for the ap­pli­cant to ap­proach the court ex parte (with­out giv­ing other par­ties no­tice); that the mat­ter is not ur­gent; that the re­quire­ments of an in­ter­dict has not been met; that the ap­pli­cant has no lo­cus standi; and that the court has no ju­ris­dic­tion to hear the mat­ter,” she said.

Jus­tice Chaka-makhooane dis­missed the ap­pli­ca­tion on the grounds that Smally Trad­ing Com­pany did not com­ply with pro­vi­sions of the Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Reg­u­la­tions 2007 be­fore ap­proach­ing the court.

Reg­u­la­tion 54, sub-reg­u­la­tion one reads: “A ten­derer, a trade as­so­ci­a­tion, an au­di­tor of the govern­ment or any group with a le­git­i­mate in­ter­est in the ob­ject of the con­tract may sub­mit a writ­ten com­plaint to the Unit not be­yond three calen- dar months fol­low­ing the date of con­tract award and any sup­port­ing ev­i­dence shall be en­closed with the com­plaint.”

Sub-reg­u­la­tion two reads: “The Unit shall no­tify all ten­der­ers about the na­ture of the com­plaint and in­vite ten­der­ers who in­ter­est might be af­fected by a re­spec­tive de­ci­sion, to the com­plaint pro­ceed­ings.”

The judge said the pro­ce­dure was not fol­lowed be­fore ap­proach­ing the court and there­fore ruled that the court had no ju­ris­dic­tion to hear the mat­ter.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion with costs,” she said.

Smally Trad­ing Com­pany had ap­proached the High Court af­ter learn­ing on 4 April 2016 that the ten­der in ques­tion had been awarded on the 18 March 2016 to an­other party.

But the com­pany was in­formed by the Min­istry of Po­lice on 7 April that the ten­der was awarded law­fully and that the con­tracts had al­ready been con­cluded.

The Le­sotho Times un­der­stands that Smally Trad­ing Com­pany is plan­ning to ap­peal Jus­tice Chaka-makhooane’s judge­ment. is dis­missed

’Ma­posholi Mosothoane with some of the mer­chan­dise on Wed­nes­day last week.

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