A Sandton-based law firm is suing Bafokeng King, Leruo Molotlegi for an amount of nearly R4m for failure to pay services rendered by the firm.
In its court documents filed with Mahikeng High Court, Poswa Incorporated says in August 2018, it was approached by a representative of Molotlegi and the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN), after which written agreement was reached in terms of which Poswa Inc was contracted to render legal services to the RBN and conduct a forensic investigation into allegations of corruption and maladministration within the Royal Bafokeng Enterprise Development (RBED), a subsidiary of the Royal Bafokeng Administration (RBA).
Sources say the king is dragging the company to court as a ploy to shield those implicated in the report who it is alleged are being protected because they have lots of damaging information on Molotlegi and his inner circle. Africa News 24-7 sent questions to Molotlegi via email last week. He has so far failed to respond. Africa News 24-7 is in possession of the forensic report whose findings are damning on senior officials of RBED and will report on these in our follow-up stories.
In its court papers, Poswa Inc says it presented its invoice to the tune of R3 999 816.16 to its client to in October 2018. The company says in its papers that on 23 October 2018, Letlhogonolo Masilo, representing Molotlegi and Bafokeng Nation sent an email to Luyolo Poswa, chairman and director of Poswa Inc “expressing gratitude for the professional legal services” rendered by the law firm and further requesting a discount.
The company says on 23 October 2018, it granted, a 15% discount, bringing the amount owed to it down to R3 433 758.68. “The first defendant has breached the agreement by failing to pay the amount of R3 433 758.68 on the date on which it became due owing and payable, despite receipt of the revised invoice. Poswa Inc asks the court to order the defendants to pay what it owes the firm plus 12% interest as well as the costs of the lawsuit.
Molotlegi, in his answering affidavit filed by Bashi Makgale, director of operations in the King’s Office disputes the fees charged by Poswa Inc and questions their reasonableness. He further states that they have since referred the matter to the Legal Practice Council (LPC) “for a review and/or determination on the reasonableness of the fees charged by the plaintiff”. Molotlegi says until such time that the LPC has made a determination on the matter, the court cannot grant summary judgment “on the basis of mere production of the fees and the purported agreement”.
Molotlegi further questions the number of professionals that were used by Poswa Inc in execution of its assignment. “The parties agreed that the assignment will be undertaken by four professionals, being the deponent of the affidavit, Luyolo Poswa as a director of the plaintiff and a candidate attorney. Due to the nature of the assignment, the plaintiff was expected to engage the services of two forensic investigators through a sub-contract between the plaintiff and such persons or entities.”
Adds Molotlegi: “It is apparent to the particulars of the claim that additional professionals were added to the team.” The matter is expected to be heard in court on 29 September.