Post Bank sues defaulting customer

SECHABA MATATIELE

Lesotho Post Bank has sued a local businessman for allegedly defaulting on a loan agreement worth over M400 000, which he signed with the bank over four years ago.

In its paper filed before the Commercial Court this week, the bank shows that it granted Tšepo Selepe a business loan of M450 000 in April 2015.

Among others, the terms of the loan agreement were that Selepe would pay a monthly instalment of M12 600 over a period of 48 months, inclusive of interest at the rate of 18.5% per annum.

It is alleged that Selepe failed to pay the monthly instalments as per the contract.

Therefore, the full amount of money he now owes the bank is M439 600 along with interest at the prime rate plus 5% per annum, court papers show.

It is further alleged that despite the demand the bank later made, Selepe declined to pay, hence the application.

In its application for a summary judgment, the bank alleges that Selepe does not have a valid defence and his appearance to defend is solely for the purpose of delaying the matter.

In his answering affidavit, Selepe claims that he did not file to defend as a ploy to delay the matter, adding he has a valid defence against the bank’s claim.

He states that the bank’s claim is not solid, hence the adopted procedure is not appropriate under the circumstances.

Selepe argues that the claimed amount is not the contract amount and that there is no attempt to explain the discrepancy both in the particulars of claim and the current application.

He says he made some instalments towards reducing the loan, adding that the bank has, however, failed to disclose that part.

Selepe also claims that there is an investment fund in the bank to the tune of M150 000, which was pledged as security towards his debt, yet the bank still failed to mention that part in its papers.

Moreover, he says, it is part of the loan agreement that the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), through its PCGS programme, covered 50% of the loan amounting to M225 000.

This aspect of the agreement, he also shows, has not been factored in by the bank and LNDC as the guarantor has not even been joined in the proceedings.

It is on these grounds that he claims to have a valid defence against the bank’s claim, asking Justice Lebohang Molete to dismiss the plaintiff’s application with costs.

The bank is represented in the matter by Advocate Tšeliso Fiee while Adv Motene Rafoneke appears for Selepe.

The case has been postponed until April 5 for arguments on summary judgment application.

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