Appointment of RAF head Collins Letsoalo challenged
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Pretoria - The Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, will on October 15 hear the application by the six law firms seeking to challenge Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s appointment of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) chief executive Collins Letsoalo.
Shedding light on the upcoming legal case was the main applicant Kabelo Malao, an attorney at K Malao Incorporated, who said the hearing was delayed partly because lawyers of parties involved were busy exchanging court papers.
The other law firms in support of the application are Kotsokoane Attorneys, Sinne Inc, Mabuse Attorneys, Matuvhtshindi Attorneys and Ndou Inc.
In court papers, Mbalula is cited as the first respondent and Letsoalo also appears as one of the respondents.
The legal bid to have Letsoalo removed from his position was initiated by the firms last year after they expressed frustration at the manner in which he handled the payment claims for road accident victims.
The law firms wanted his appointment to be overturned because he was seen as a threat to the proper functioning of the RAF.
Letsoalo, the former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa chief executive, was appointed in charge of the RAF in August last year after having served in an acting role, and as chief financial officer at the Transport Department.
“The law firms would be challenging Mbalula’s decision to appoint Letsoalo. All the parties have agreed that this matter should be heard on October 15,” Malao said.
He believed Letsoalo had been victimising his firm, which is owed R14 million by RAF, for having brought up an application against Mbalula.
“I am being victimised because I brought an application against the minister challenging his appointment. He doesn’t understand that by victimising me, he is not actually victimising me; he is victimising people he was hired to serve, the claimants. The main stakeholders in the greater scheme of things are the claimants. We are talking about indigent people. Those people can’t go to work because of their injuries,” Malao said.
According to him, the RAF had defied court orders to pay the road accidents claimants.
“These people are inadvertently defying court orders. And the minister said jointly with Letsoalo that they have a surplus of R3.2 billion. Why are they not paying from that amount? He also said they have invested R160 million. Why are they not paying from that?” Malao said.
Malao Attorneys Incorporated last week sought an execution of writ for the deputy sheriff to attach movable assets belonging to the department.
The RAF could not be reached for comment.