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Andrew Langa booted out

by Mashudu Netsianda
28 Feb 2015 at 14:51hrs | Views
SPORT, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langas business partner in a gold mine in Filabusi, Oliver Chikarara, was yesterday arrested for resisting eviction from the contested property.

Chikarara was briefly detained at Filabusi Police Station after being arrested for contempt of court

The officer-in-charge of Filabusi Police Station, Inspector Innocent Shumbaimwe said Chikarara will appear in court soon.

The Sheriff accompanied by the lawyers representing Chikararas rivals and police arrived at the mine yesterday afternoon while workers were busy at the milling site

They, however, foiled to execute the court order after Chikararas resistance. He produced an urgent chamber application filed at the Bulawayo High Court challenging the order.

According to the court papers citing Nqobile Khumalo, his wife Francesca Mufambi and Shumbaimwe as respondents, the mine trading as Trianic Investments and one of its directors, an Israeli, Meyer Reoven Dray applied for the stay of execution, arguing that there was no lawful basis for stopping operations.

"This is an urgent chamber application for stay of execution pending rescission of judgment Case Number HC 2167/14 filed under HC141/15. The respondents have a hopeless case and the majority shareholders have decided to allow disinvestment and sale of the mine The respondents have no pecuniary claim or right over the mine or lawful right to stop operations," said Chikarara in his founding affidavit

Minister Langa has been sucked into the mine ownership dispute with claims that he was fraudulently given 10 percent shares in the mine by Israelis Dray and Avi Habot.

A top Bulawayo lawyer Sindiso Mazibisa is also a shareholder in the mine Dray and Habot were initially in partnership with Khumalo and his wife before they later ditched them and roped in the minister

The couple then approached the Bulawayo High Court which gave them a provisional order barring the Israelis from interfering with operations at the mine. The couple cited Dray, Habot, Trianic Investments and Dorcas Tiwaringe as the respondents.

In his ruling, Justice Martin Makonese directed the respondents not to interfere with the applicants' operations at the mine.

"The respondents be and are hereby ordered not to sell the mine in question and not to interfere with the applicants' operations at the mine and not to interfere with equipment thereat The respondents are hereby interdicted from selling mining equipment situated on die mine in question or anywhere else unless in terms of the law. The respondents are hereby interdicted from going to the mine known as Erie 21, Trianic Investments, Filabusi," said Justice Makonese.

The judge also ordered the respondents to pay costs of the suit on a client to attorney scale. Khumalo's lawyer, Norman Mugiya of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers said the application by Minister Langa and his partners could not override a court order.

"The High Court order stands and it can't be held in suspense by an application by Langa and his partners. That's dearly contempt of court as they continue to disregard the order," he said

Two weeks ago the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court accompanied by Khumalo also met resistance when they tried to evict Chikarara and his colleagues. This was after Khumalo and his wife through their lawyers, had written a letter to the Sheriff of the High Court seeking eviction

Minister Langa, who negotiated with the Israelis in the shareholding deal, was not cited in the court application as Khumalo and Mufambi said they did not recognise the deal he had entered into with the foreign investors. They chose to sue Dray and Habot whom they initially had an agreement with.

The minister could not be reached on his mobile phone yesterday.

In the initial application, Mugiya stated that his clients were ordered out of the mine by Minister Langa and his colleagues through a provisional order in 2011. Khumalo and Mufambi were allegedly served with a fake provisional order allegedly obtained at the Bulawayo High Court on December 7,2011.

When lawyers checked with the courts in January last year, they established that the file did not exist in the system and was not even registered in the Registrars Index Book

According to the fake High Court provisional order, Justice Nicholas Ndou had allegedly dissolved the directorship of Khumalo and Mufambi and ordered them to pay $4,000 and not to interfere with operations of the mine.

They were also interdicted from exercising their signing powers with the company's Agribank and Stanbic Bank accounts.

According to the court documents, in July 2011, Khumalo was introduced to Dray and Habot, who declared their interest in mining and subsequently established a joint venture.

Source - chronicle