Sheriff tries to attach Gauteng Premier’s furniture

Jack Bloom MPL Gauteng Caucus Leader A Sheriff of the court was rebuffed yesterday (19 March) by security at the Gauteng Premier’s official residence in Bryanston when he tried to attach furniture because of a R5 million unpaid court order for medical negligence. The South Gauteng High Court ordered the Premier on 3 October last year to pay R5 million to Mr Nicolaas van Niekerk for brain damage suffered during a routine dental procedure at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) on 19 October 2005. A warrant against the Premier was granted on 18 January this year, but the premier’s office still refused to pay even though 15.5% punitive interest is charged. The interest so far from this late payment is more than R300 000. It is really shameful that the Premier repeatedly fails to pay court orders unless pressured by having her goods attached. This happened twice in January last year when the Sheriff arrived to attach furniture at her Simmonds Street office. In another medical negligence case where a court awarded R1.2 million in 2009 to a woman who had her breasts amputated at the CMJAH, the premier’s office only agreed to pay last week when the Sheriff was again poised to attach furniture at her office. The penalty interest amounted to about R500 000. How many more Sheriff visits will there be to the Premier’s office and residence because of late payments of court orders? It’s a criminal offense to obstruct the Sheriff in his duties, yet this happens virtually every time he tries to attach goods from the provincial government. The premier must obey the law like everyone else and pay up in good time without wasting money on high interest charges.

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