Saturday, May 18, 2024

Minister Mokgethi’s estate woes far from over

Labour and Home Affairs Minister, Annah Mokgethi is still dogged by the controversy over the estate of the late Abdul Joseph.

She has been issued with fresh formal summons by Attorney Lesedi Moahi, who is suing in his capacity as Executor of the Estate of the late Abdul Joseph.

Moahi has asked Mokgethi, through his lawyers, Jones Motshepi firm, to defend herself either personally or by an attorney within 14 days.

“An appearance is entered by properly completing and delivering a memorandum of appearance to the Register and the plaintiff. Delivery to the plaintiff (Moahi) maybe effected by sending registered post to the plaintiff if the plaintiff sues in person, but otherwise to the plaintiff’s attorneys,” a copy of the summons show.  

Moahi informed Mokgethi that: “The memorandum of appearance shall specify concisely the nature and the grounds of the defence and the relief of remedy required thereafter and you fail to file and serve notice as aforesaid judgement as claimed against you without further notice to you.”

Moahi indicated that Mokgethi is indebted to the estate which the plaintiff (Moahi) represents, “which liability arose in consequence of her breach of fiduciary and statutory responsibilities owed to an estate of the deceased person in terms of the Administration Estate Act.”

Chronicling events that led to the present summons, Moahi’s lawyers indicated that until sometime in around 2021, Mokgethi was the executrix of the said estate. 

“On the 14th September 2021 the plaintiff was appointed executrix of the said estate.  During her tenure as executrix, the defendant acted in a manner that violated numerous of her legal obligations to the estate and did so in direct violation of the provisions of the Administration provisions of the Administration of Estate Act,” the lawyers said. 

The lawyers accused Mokgethi of improperly billing the Estate an amount totaling P1,180,9994.38 as administration costs without prior notification to approval of and taxation by the Master of the High Court contrary to section 62 (2) of the Act.

“The defendant (Mokgethi) also appointed herself, without the prior approval and consent of the Master as well as without good cause, as legal counsel for the estate in her capacity as practicing attorney,” the lawyers said.

They added that in pursuance of such unlawful self-appointment, Mokgethi “unlawfully billed and paid to herself or he law practice out of funds belonging to the estate, amounts totaling P1,232,9012.93.”

They noted that Mokgethi, without the prior consent or approval by the Master, engaged the services of certain outsources entities to act on her behalf all while incurring unauthorized and unjustifiable legal expenses for the estate.

“The defendant, in the manner describe at paragraph 9 above, appointed a certain Dingake Law Partners and further, directly and or through the appointment of Dingake Law Partners, authorised the appointment of a certain Advocate NPG Redman SC, from South Africa and directly paid the said Law Firm and Advocate from funds belonging to the Estate without prior notification or approval by the Master,” the lawyers said. They added that “The sums incurred in this regard are in total amount of P317,008.63.”

According to the summons, “The defendant further appointed a certain Vergeer Law, without prior notification to, consent and approval by the Master as well as without good cause and paid the said firm legal fees amounting t P22,000.”

Despite notice of demand, Mokgethi has neglected and or failed or refused to pay back to the estate the aforesaid monies which cumulatively amount to P2,752,904.94, Moahi’s lawyers said. 

“The plaintiff prays for judgement to be entered against the defendant in the following terms; payment in the sum of P2,752,904.94, interests at the rate of 12% per annum,” read the summons in part.

The lawyers also prayed that “the defendant be directed to deliver an itemised and taxable bill of costs to allow for appropriate taxation of her charges.”

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