Memani, the former chairperson of Rea Vaya’s operating company Pio-Trans, and her board of directors were sent packing by shareholders of the bus company after she was accused of running the business to the ground.
Memani, who was the second applicant in the matter, said in the affidavit that new board members were introduced by Kunene to the staff of Pio-Trans, stating that Kunene’s conduct was tantamount to a coup d’etat to overthrow a legitimate structure.
She also stated that Kunene, the deputy president of Patriotic Alliance, had given a directive that the new board and its executives should reinstate a finance manager who was suspended for financial misconduct and is being investigated for the offence.
She prayed that Kunene and the City of Johannesburg executive director of transport, Dorothy Mabuza, be interdicted and restrained from interfering with her and the board’s activities with immediate effect.
In March, Sunday World reported that Memani was frog-marched from Pio-Trans offices in Meadowlands, Soweto by angry shareholders who called for her head.
She wanted the court to force Pio-Trans and Kunene to stop dissolving the board.
However, judge AJ Malungana dismissed with costs her application to interdict Kunene, the City of Johannesburg, the Gauteng MEC for transport and the minister of transport.
This after her application was sent to the high court on April 22 to have the matter heard as a matter of urgency.
In the court documents which we have seen, Memani requested the court to declare the new board of directors of Pio-Trans unlawful.
She also prayed that Kunene and the City of Johannesburg executive director of transport, Dorothy Mabuza, be interdicted and restrained from interfering with her and the board activities with immediate effect.
“The first respondent further gave instruction to bring on board one Mr Erick Motshwane, who was settled out of the company due to a broken relationship between himself and the company, his employer and was implicated in a forensic investigation by First Africa,” according to Memani.
“The respondent has appointed one Vusi Mahlangu as chief executive officer even though the appointment of the CEO is the prerogative of the board of directors.”
She also stated that Kunene has also appointed the spokesperson of his party as a member of the board, and that these issues have serious legal and reputational risk for Pio-Trans.
Based on this, her prayer to the court was that the matter be heard on urgent basis.
“The unlawful appointed board and executives will have access to confidential material of the first applicant such as financial and employees’ records, as well as access to information on ongoing investigations against certain individual employees and disturb the flow of case management.
“The reputation of the company is extremely at stake, and it will be impossible to prevent the damage to the governance and operations of the first applicant.”
She also stated that those appointed as board members and executives were not vetted nor interviewed by a legitimate governance structure of the board.
Handing down his judgment, Malungana ruled that Memani failed to justify the application’s urgency.
“This applicant has alternative remedies at her disposal and can still approach the motion court for the appropriate relief. The application is dismissed with costs,” ruled Malungana.