Pretoria - Ousted sheriff of Mokopane (Potgietersrus), John Herman, 66, has no choice but to accept that the time has come for him to retire and hand over his duties to a younger man.
A ruling to this effect was made in the Pretoria High Court after Herman had resisted handing over to a new sheriff, Nkwadi Maremane.
Herman, who had been a sheriff in the town for the past 16 years, felt entitled to stay on until the age of 70.
But the Justice Ministry objected in terms of legislation that stated the sheriff must retire at 65.
The minister turned to court in an effort to remove Herman from office.
The sheriff refused to budge, citing an array of reasons why he or his son whom he had appointed as deputy sheriff, should be sheriff of the town.
But, said Judge Billy Mothle, Herman should realise that the position of sheriff was a public service position and not a family business in which Herman could chose to appoint his son as his heir.
Last month Herman was ordered by the court to hand over to Maremane within 48 hours of the court order.
But Herman applied for leave to appeal against the judgment, meaning he would be able to stay on until the appeal had been finalised.
Judge Mothle turned down this application too, saying Herman had not advanced any new arguments in favour of his staying on.
“I found that the law required him (Herman) to retire at 65 and not at 70. There is no evidence that the minister extended Herman’s retirement age,” the judge said.
He also said an argument advanced by Herman’s counsel that the appointment of Maremane was invalid as it refers to a high court in Mokopane and that there is no such court was bizarre.
In turning down the leave to appeal, the judge ordered Herman to make way for Maremane, even if he intended to petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal.