- The applicant wants the minister jailed

Judge Michael Leburu is expected to deliver judgement next week in a matter where Dawn Masenya had applied to court saying Annah Mokgethi should be jailed for being in contempt of court.

In 2018, Masenya brought an application before the court to compel the respondent to account for his grandfather’s(Abdul Joseph) estate.

In May 2020, Judge Godfrey Nthomiwa ordered in Masenya’s favour, saying Mokgethi was to provide accounting on the estate of Joseph within 30 calendar days.

Failure to do so, the court said Mokgethi faced jail time.

Mokgethi appealed the judgement but was dismissed in August 2021 and given 30 days to comply with the High court order.

In September 2021, Mokgethi submitted the wanted documents. But Masenya felt otherwise.

According to her founding affidavit before the court, Mokgethi willingly disobeyed court orders.

She said that the report provided by Mokgethi was far from being complete, Among other things she noted that the financial statements provided were inaccurate and unreliable.

An accountant that Masenya had brought enlisted to look into the figures provided by Mokgethi was unable to make a complete report because so much was missing from Mokgethi’s report.

The files provided were alleged to have been prepared in a haphazard manner.

Some monies running into millions could not be reconciled. Masenya also questioned the rental income and revenue from livestock and other farming activities that were said to have been carried out.

In her view, what is now left is for Mokgethi to be jailed for being in contempt of court.

“It is clear that the respondent has no intention of obeying the order. She cannot say she is unable to account for the estate which has been under her control since 2012, she has the information and the capacity to obey the court order but wilfully decided not to do so.”

“As the order of this court was for the respondent to perform or do a particular act, my attorney advises me that the appropriate remedy is her committal, in the event that she is found to be in contempt, This or the spectre of committal, seems to be the only means by which this court’s order

may be enforced,” reads Masenya’s affidavit.

Masenya argues that Mokgethi’s failure is a worrying confirmation that she has not properly administered the Estate over the past nine years.

In their heads of argument, Mokgethi’s lawyers Bogopa, Manewe, Tobedza & Co argued that the application has been overtaken by events as far as the date of compliance is concerned.

They also argued that there was another application for contempt filed at the Court of Appeal (COA) under the same case number and possibilities where the two courts (High Court and COA) may enter different outcomes with respect to the same inquiry.

“Consequently, convenience requires that these proceedings be stayed for almost one month to enable the matter before the Court of Appeal to be concluded,” reads court papers.

Mokgethi’s lawyers further said they are not disputing that by the time the application for contempt was filed, the respondent had not complied but their client did not sit back and do nothing after being aware of an order that she should account.

On the 31st of May this year, COA struck out Masenya’s application for contempt of court saying there are disputes of fact between the parties as to whether or not the respondent has complied with the requirements of the High Court order to account to the Master and if not, whether such non-compliance constitutes contempt.

COA said the disputes may require oral evidence to resolve and it was not a suitable exercise for an appellate court which is also a court of last resort.