A company owned by the cousin of EFF Deputy President Floyd Shibambu has applied for a court order to place the South African Post Office (SAPO) under final winding up for failing to pay it over R6.3 million for services rendered.
Zaliwa, which is owned by Musa Shibambu, applied for the order at the Pretoria High Court last month, claiming that SAPO’s failure to settle the staggering bill was an indication that it was unable to pay its debts and therefore it should be placed under final winding up as per the Companies Act.
Alternative, Zaliwa wants SAPO to be placed under provisional liquidation and an invitation be extended to all interested parties to show cause on a date to be determined by the court why the provisional liquidation order should not be made final.
In the papers, which we have seen, Shibambu said Zaliwa and another company, Registered Communication, formed an unincorporated joint venture (JV) under the trading name DijiThali, which later signed a contract with SAPO to provide a range of electronic registered communication services, including registered SMS, business relationship management services ,email services, eStatements and data cleaning services to the City of Joburg (COJ).
In terms of the agreement, SAPO would be entitled to a revenue share of 50 percent of the profit generated from Registered SMS, Registered Email and value added services rendered.
DijiThali was expected to deploy the required systems platform in its existing data centres for the purpose of supplying the required eStatement service.
It was also expected to supply, maintain and sell the technology and solutions that enabled clients to send eStatements to their customers via digital channels.
For the provision of eStatement services, DijiThali was supposed to be paid R4 per SMS, R4 per email and R2.30 per MMA excluding Value Added Tax (VAT).
“The DijiThali operational fees would range according to a sliding scale from R2.28 to R2.05 per SMS, R2.28 to R2.o5 per email and R0.97 to R0.87 per MMs (all excluding VAT), depending on the number of transactions performed annually. The agreed revenue share between SAPO and Diji Thali would involve a 50/50 split of the margin (that is the difference) between the recommended end user pricing and the DijiThali operational fees,” read the papers.
SAPO was expected to remit payment to DijiThali 30 days after receiving payment from its customers.
Shibambu, who is reportedly dating Basetsana Kumalo’s sister Johanna Mukoki, said after the JV was dissolved and terminated on November 15 2020, Zaliwa started providing eStatement services to the COJ.
This after it entered into an oral agreement with SAPO in November 2020.
After rendering the services, Zaliwa issued three invoices totalling over R6.3 million to SAPO for payment on December 9 2021. This was for the services it rendered between November 2020 and January 2021.
In the same period, Zaliwa and Registered Communication resolved that all the payments SAPO owed to DiJi Thali should all be paid into Zaliwa’s account.
“Despite the invoices being due, owing and payable, SAPO has failed and or refused to make payment as required in terms of the oral agreement concluded between it and Zaliwa.
“On 31 March 2022, Zaliwa, through its attorneys, addressed the 345 letter to SAPO in which it demanded payment in the amount of R6.360,898.33 (six million three hundred and sixty thousand eight hundred and ninety eight rand and thirty three cents), being the sum of the invoices, within 3 weeks of SAPO receiving the letter.
“The 3-weeek period in which SAPO was required, pursuant to the section 345 letter, to make payment of the outstanding amount or to secure or compound for it, expired in or about 25 April 2020.
“Quite evidently, SAPO is unable to pay its debts and when they become due and payable. In the circumstances, I pray for the order In the notice of motion,” read the papers.
SAPO General Manger – Legal and Regulatory Elias Matimulane declined to comment.