The Johannesburg High Court has ordered actress Phindile Gwala-Ngandu to settle an electricity and utilities bill worth over R100 000 or have her apartment disconnected from using power.
Judge Mandla Motha ruled this week that Gwala-Ngandu, who plays Fikile on popular eTV soapie Imbewu: The Seed, should have electricity at the Bramley apartment in Johannesburg disconnected should she fail to settle the R115 641.98 in full within 10 business days.
The judge also cited the applicant in the action, Bramley Mews Body Corporate, was authorised to hire an electrician for disconnecting her electricity.
“If the electricity supply has been disconnected as set out, it is to remain disconnected until final payment of the amounts set out in the application. The respondent (Phindile Gwala-Ngandu) is ordered to pay the costs of this application on an attorney and client scale,” read the judgment.
“As it appears from the notice of motion, the applicant (Bramley Mews Corporate) seeks an order against the respondent (Phindile Gwala-Ngandu), for monetary payments being in respect of arrear levies and electricity charges, which are due to the applicant by the respondent.
“The applicant also seeks an order against the respondent for disconnection of the electricity supply to the section, pending full payment of arrear levies and electricity charges. This particular relief has necessitated the launching of this court application,” read the claim.
The court papers cited that the body corporate obtained a court judgment in June 2020 due to a similar application for non-payment, which resulted in a warrant of execution against Gwala’s assets.
The claim read:
Judgment was granted against the respondent for the sum of R70 809.95 and on or about March 22 2022, a warrant of execution was issued against the movable property of the respondent…to date hereof, the respondent failed and alternatively neglected, further refused to make payments in respect of special levies, normal levies, refuse recoveries, sewer/ effluent levies in full. As such, payments become due and payable to the applicant.
The papers further allude to the prejudice the body corporate has faced as a result of Gwala-Ngandu’s alleged non-payment.
“While a failure to pay every amount due to the applicant is prejudicial to it, a failure to effect payment of electricity consumption charges is the most prejudicial. The reason for this is that the body corporate is obligated, on a monthly basis, to effect payment of electricity consumption charges in respect of every section within its scheme to the local council,” read the claim, adding that non-payment could deplete its account, which could have an adverse effect on other members of the body corporate.
“If the applicant does not recover these payments from its members, it will continue to advance monies to the council, on behalf of section owners who do not pay for electricity consumption. This will deplete any savings which the applicant may have and will ultimately cause the applicant to have a negative bank balance, risking a disconnection of the electricity supply, by the local municipality, to all the sections and the applicant being placed under administration,” added the papers.
Gwala-Ngandu had not responded to written enquiry before publishing.