Buses back to Motsa's rank'
MBABANE – The Manzini public transport operators will return to Moses Motsa’s plot, at least until midnight on Sunday, the High Court has ordered.
Initially the Municipal Council of Manzini had gone to court to seek a temporary order stopping Moses Motsa from unlawfully using his property as a bus rank on the grounds he used it for something it was not gazetted for and its continued use prejudiced the council’s ability to discharge its statutory duties.
The council was represented by lawyers Manene Thwala and Kenneth Motsa.
The Swaziland Commercial Amadoda Road and Transport Association
(SCARTA), Swaziland Transport and Allied Workers Union (STAWU) and Buhle BemaSwati Association also took the council to court demanding to use Motsa’s plot as a bus rank. They were represented by lawyer Lloyd Mzizi
"Pending finalisation of this application, the same situation as of now be restored in that the members of the associations be authorised to use Lot 1341, situated within the Manzini Council," read part of the application.
In essence, the associations demanded the continued use of Moses Motsa’s plot as a bus rank pending finalisation of the rank impasse with the Manzini municipality.
SCARTA President, Duma Msibi further accused the council of having taken the law into its own hands by restraining them from entering the purported rank. The property owner, Motsa, did not have in his possession a court order preventing him from using his property as a bus terminus.
The two cases were, however, consolidated and heard as one by the High Court yesterday. The case was before High Court Judge Jacobus Annandale who asked counsels from both sides to meet their clients and decide on the way forward. He did not entertain counsels’ arguments in connection with the way forward.
Both parties met and they reached a settlement whereby it was agreed that the bus operators and vendors would return to Motsa’s plot with effect from this morning. The settlement was made an order of court.
Judge Annandale, therefore, ordered that SCARTA and the vendors be permitted to use Motsa’s plot pending finalisation of the matter by the council. They were further ordered to refrain from using it from Sunday May 6, 2012 at midnight and to operate at any place to be communicated to them by the Manzini Municipal Council in terms of the Urban Government act. Police were ordered to ensure enforcement of the order.
Below is the chronology of events that let to the cases being filed with the High Court and the subsequent outcome;
... but march to ministers is still on
MBABANE – While transport operators and vendors were impressed with the High Court ruling, they will still march to three government ministries today.
This was revealed by STAWU’s negotiator, Petros Ndzabandzaba at the High Court yesterday. Ndzabandzaba was addressing the Manzini public transport operators and vendors after the case in which they triumphed over the municipal council. He said they were going to deliver a petition at the Ministries of Housing and Urban Development, Public Works and Transport and a copy thereof at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. He also announced that they would be ferried by Emavulane Transport today.
"We are going to express our concerns. The judgment is not very useful because it is exactly the same judgment we got in January 2010," he said.
Ndzabandzaba said operating from the Satellite Bus Rank made life very miserable for them. "With the introduction of the value added tax (VAT), life has become difficult for bus operators because the vehice tyres have become more expensive," he added.
According to him, the Manzini public transport operators were worried about the Road Transportation Board’s new approach to the renewal of licences. He said for one to have his licence renewed, he must agree to working from the Satellite Bus Rank. He said there was a clause in the permit which bound operators to work from the Satellite Bus Rank.
Ndzabandzaba, however, added that they should not be understood to be on strike tomorrow, but they will only be on holiday. He said their holiday was indefinite and they would return to work when they feel they have rested enough.
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