Lobatse High Court judge Maruping Dibotelo has ordered the Accountant General to pay former Mogoditshane Member of Parliament, Patrick Masimolole’s terminal benefits or gratuity to National Development Bank and pay costs of the suit.
This follows after Doctor Pusoentsi, representing NDB, had approached the Court asking why an order could not be made against Masimolole interdicting or restraining the Accountant General from paying terminal or gratuity benefits to Masimolole and ,further, why an order could not be made directing that there is a legally binding deed of cession of terminal benefits or gratuity between Masimolole and NDB.
The background of the matter is that Masimolole was, in 2008, offered a loan by NDB, which was accepted by Masimolole on 7 October.
He then signed a deed of agreement of cession in terms of which Masimolole, ceded and transferred all his rights, title and interest in and to any monies due to him as benefits or gratuity to NDB at the end of his term as Member of Parliament to NDB.
All the deeds of cession referred to above have been deposited with the Clerk of the National Assembly in his capacity as the employer of all MPs.
Parliament has since been dissolved and the terms of Masimolole have since come to an end and gratuities have matured. Now, according to information that the NDB got from the Clerk of the National Assembly and the Accountant General, Masimolole is due to be paid anytime from September 2009.
On August 4, the NDB wrote a letter to the Accountant General informing him of Masimole’s indebtness to it and about the deeds of agreement of ceding of gratuities executed by Masimolole in its favour, and requested that the said amounts be withheld and paid to it.
Masimolole was then approached by the Acting Clerk of the National Assembly and Masimolole had refused to authorize the deduction of the amount he owes the bank from his gratuity. Then the Accountant General wrote a letter to the bank saying that they had been advised by the Attorney General that they did not have authority to deduct money from individual’s earnings without a written consent of the concerned officer.
The Accountant General then advised the bank that it was not in a position to help the bank and this resulted in the suit by the bank.
Asked to comment on this, Masimolole denied any knowledge of the Court order saying, ”I am surprised you are saying they have a Court order against me . I have not seen it.”
Asked if he owed the bank some money, he acknowledged that he did but said that he was not alone as there were some Parliamentarians who are in the same position as he was.
Masimolole also said that he has since instructed the parliament staff to make the necessary deductions from his gratuity and that, as far as he was concerned, the matter was closed.
”I have authorized Parliament staff to deduct the money I owe and the matter is closed as far as I know,” he stressed.