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Contractor sues over lost heaps of quarry

by Sunday Express
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Sello Morake
MASERU — TAM Industries managing director Thabang Mothae is claiming M50 140 from Alfa Plant Hire (Pty) Ltd as compensation for losses his company allegedly suffered in 2002.
The case finally opened in the High Court on Thursday, with Mothae telling Justice Maseshophe Hlajoane how his company struggled to pay workers after an Alfa Plant Hire excavator had destroyed heaps of quarry stones belonging to TAM Industries.
“In 2002, while constructing the road between Ha-Thetsane and Ha-Tikoe, a grader belonging to Alfa Plant Hire threw heaps of our quarry into the drainage and, as a result, we incurred huge losses because the quarry was no longer usable,” Mothae said.
“I know the grader belonged to Alpha Plant Hire because we were working at the same site.
“We even went to Maseru City Council for mediation in our dispute where Alpha accepted liability.”
Mothae said the company struggled to pay its workers on that particular day because they had not been productive.
“We were paying the workers on a daily basis, but Maseru City Council intervened and the company was able to pay the employees,” he said.
“The estimation of the loss was made by senior engineer Seetsa of the Department of Rural Roads.
“I heard he is not available within the jurisdiction of this court because he is in South Africa. I don’t know his exact whereabouts.”
Mothae said he was seeking redress in the courts after finding no joy from the defendants despite their acceptance of responsibility at the time.
“We met with representatives of their company at the municipality soon after this happened,” he said.
“Alfa Plant Hire agreed their grader had spilled our quarry into the drain.”
Mothae’s lawyer, Molefi Ntlhoki, told the court: “We have established our case on a balance of probabilities.”
Ntlhoki explained his office had delivered summons to Alfa Plant Hire, but the deceased’s wife, Mapeo Makara, had allegedly refused to take them.
“My office assistant had to slide in the papers through the opening at the base of the closed door,” he said.
“I urge the court to look at the circumstantial value of our case, not the probative value.”

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