Joburg tries to re­coup Pik­itup R3m

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS - @khayakoko88 KHAYA KOKO khaya.koko@inl.co.za be­tween

ROUGHLY R3 mil­lion could be lost by the City of Joburg fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions that lawyers, act­ing for it to re­coup al­leged stolen money, face dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings for sup­posed cor­rup­tion.

The case in­volves Pik­itup money which was al­legedly stolen dur­ing the ANC ad­min­is­tra­tion pre-Au­gust 2016.

A se­nior city lawyer is fac­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion by the Law So­ci­ety of the North­ern Prov­inces (LSNP) for al­legedly tam­per­ing with ev­i­dence by sup­pos­edly al­ter­ing the af­fi­davit of a key wit­ness.

The LSNP has con­firmed that Shamima Gai­bie – who is a di­rec­tor at the Chea­dle,

Thomp­son & Haysom (CTH) law firm – faces a com­plaint which was launched against her by for­mer Pik­itup gen­eral man­ager, Dono­van Denyssen.

The Star has seen e-mail cor­re­spon­dence be­tween Gai­bie and se­nior ex­ec­u­tives at Pik­itup, where the lawyer seem­ingly asks the ex­ec­u­tives whether a key wit­ness in a le­gal mat­ter be­tween the en­tity and Denyssen doesn’t want to tai­lor his ev­i­dence.

Denyssen, in his com­plaint, be­lieves this al­leged tai­lor­ing of ev­i­dence to be grossly im­proper and de­signed to in­flu­ence the

ar­bi­tra­tion neg­a­tively him and Pik­itup.

The com­plaint comes in the wake of CTH rep­re­sent­ing Pik­itup in a mat­ter be­tween the en­tity and Amanda Nair. Nair is the for­mer manag­ing di­rec­tor of Pik­itup, where the en­tity seeks to re­coup R2 969 489.90 from its for­mer MD for al­leged li­a­bil­ity “in re­spect of 12 sep­a­rate claims in var­i­ous sums to­gether with in­ter­est and cost”.

This is ac­cord­ing to high court doc­u­ments, seen by The Star.

When con­tacted for com­ment, Gai­bie said she knew noth­ing

about the com­plaint and had yet to re­ceive no­ti­fi­ca­tion from the LSNP. But when The Star alerted her to the e-mail cor­re­spon­dence, which forms the ba­sis to the com­plaint against her, Gai­bie said she was aware of the mes­sages.

“He tried to use these doc­u­ments in the ar­bi­tra­tion and he was pre­vented from us­ing them be­cause they fall into the cat­e­gory of le­gal priv­i­lege,” Gai­bie said.

How­ever, Boi­tumelo Ko­mako, an of­fi­cial in the LSNP’s dis­ci­plinary depart­ment, con­firmed to The Star that a copy of the

com­plaint had been sent to Gai­bie last month.

“The com­plaint was sent to the at­tor­ney (Gai­bie) and we are still wait­ing for her re­sponse. We usu­ally grant the at­tor­neys about 30 days to re­spond, so she has been given un­til May 14 to re­spond,” Ko­mako said, adding dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings would only be in­sti­tuted af­ter Gai­bie sub­mit­ted her re­sponses, and the in­ves­ti­gat­ing com­mit­tee as­sessed the com­plaint.

Nair said she would await the con­clu­sion of the LSNP process against Gai­bie to gauge whether

she has been prej­u­diced in the mat­ter launched against her by Pik­itup.

She did not rule out launch­ing le­gal ac­tion against the law firm to quash the case against her, as she feels the firm was highly con­flicted in this process.

Pik­itup chair­per­son Bheki Shongwe and may­oral spokesper­son Luyanda Mfeka said they were un­aware of the com­plaint against their lawyers.

Pik­itup spokesper­son Muzi Mkhwanazi said: “Pik­itup is not aware about the com­plaint or its na­ture. There­fore, Pik­itup can­not com­ment on the im­pact or lack thereof on the lit­i­ga­tion in­volv­ing CTH. Pik­itup will en­gage CTH to es­tab­lish the facts around the com­plaint.”

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