Municipal union’s medical aid scheme provisional curator in court to challenge removal

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JOHANNESBURG, October 19 – The high court-appointed provisional curator of municipal workers medical aid scheme SAMWUMED, Duduza Khosana, on Friday submitted an application for leave to appeal her removal from the post.

This comes after Cape Town High Court Judge Keith Engers last week ordered Khosana’s immediate removal, saying she was prejudicing members of the scheme. Engers appointed Joe Seoloane to replace Khosana but she has refused to hand the scheme over to him pending the outcome of her appeal.

An application to remove Khosana was brought by the former deputy chairman of the scheme, Andre Maxwell, who was removed in May when the scheme was put under provisional curatorship. Next week, the court will determine the status of the curatorship.

Khosana insists that Maxwell’s application was an abuse of process and an unwarranted attempt to derail the rule nisi, a provisional or interim order, the process already in motion.

She has on various occasions been accused of not focusing on her primary task to determine whether the current board of trustees of SAMWUMED was legally constituted. But Khosana argues that she has worked tirelessly to protect the interests of the scheme’s beneficiaries and sought to stabilise the management of the scheme.

Khosana has also accused the acting registrar of medical schemes Dr Sipho Kabane, who suggested her appointment in the first place, of making a curious about-turn and seeking to cancel the appointment, launching his application on the back of Maxwell’s.

In his application, Kabane also accused Khosana of failing to take steps to constitute a new Board of Trustees.

“In so doing he has willfully ignored the fact that she cannot act in this regard until the outcome of a Constitutional Court case involving the legitimate leadership of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU),” a statement issued on behalf of Khosana said.

“This directly impacts SAMWUMED because the rules of the scheme require the union to appoint 50 percent of the scheme’s board. The faction dispute thus needs to be resolved before a compliant annual general meeting can be held. It was, therefore, no surprise that Dr Kabane’s application was essentially found to be without any merit.”

The statement said Khosana had acted within her powers as provisional curator and had done so in good faith and with the best interests of the scheme’s beneficiaries and staff at heart.

It added that her efforts had come at a great personal cost to her and her professional reputation.

– African News Agency (ANA)