samalogo thumb medium85 87BL Premium reports that the SA Medical Association (Sama) and the SA Medical Association Trade Union (Samatu) have been in a long-standing dispute over whether Sama owes Samatu millions of rand in deductions paid over the past 20 years.

Samatu, which is under administration, has applied for Sama’s liquidation saying that it owes as much as R370m, but Sama is opposing this. According to Sama spokesperson Angelique Coetzee, a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling last week did not mean that it was now required to immediately pay millions of rand to Samatu. A later court case would determine what if anything was owed to Samatu in respect of deductions for trade union membership, Coetzee indicated. For the past 20 years, deductions were deposited into Sama’s bank account rather than into a separate account for Samatu, which represents about 7,500 public sector doctors. From 1996 when it was formed until 2013 Samatu operated as a division of Sama and adopted its own constitution in that year. The ConCourt matter related to Sama disputing that its public sector members had signed up for Samatu when they joined Sama. The lower court order that Sama sought leave to appeal against had declared that all Sama members who paid subscriptions via Persal were by implication Samatu members. The ConCourt ruled that there were no prospects for success for an appeal. This has established the foundation for an allocation of funds by Sama to Samatu should another court find that funds are owed. The acrimonious dispute between Sama and Samatu has involved several court cases.

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