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New twist to mine wrangle involving Andrew Langa

by Mashudu Netsianda
08 Apr 2015 at 07:02hrs | Views
IN a new twist to the Trianic Investments mining wrangle, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese has rescinded his earlier order interdicting Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langa and his business partners from conducting operations at the gold mine in Filabusi

Justice Makonese's ruling delivered last week follows an application by directors Reoven Meyer Dray, an Israeli and Oliver Chikarara who sought an order for rescission of judgment under case number HC 2167/14 granted on January 15, 2015.

"The order granted on January 15, 2015 under case number HC 2167/14 be and is hereby rescinded," said Justice Makonese.

In January, Justice Makonese had directed Langa and his partners not to interfere with the applicants' operations at the mine.

In their application for rescission of judgment, Chikarara and Dray had cited the Filabusi couple Nqobile Khumalo and his wife Francesca Mufambi as respondents.

"This is an application for rescission of judgment under Case Number HC 2167/14 as the respondents have no lawful right to interdict the applicants from conducting business as they're no longer shareholders or directors. The court order granted under HC 2167/14 is a monumental fraud and abuse of court process," said Chikarara in his founding affidavit.

Dray said: "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."

The applicants argued that Khumalo and his wife fraudulently got the order under Case Number HC 141/15 by misleading the court.

The latest development comes barely two weeks after Justice Nokuthula Moyo of the same court dismissed an urgent chamber application by Langa and his business partners to stop the Sheriff from executing an order to evict them from the controversial mine.

Justice Moyo granted the order in favour of Khumalo and his wife.

Israelis Dray and Avi Habot were initially in a partnership with Khumalo and Mufambi, but later ditched them and roped in the minister.

The couple then went to court citing Dray, Habot and a local Dorcas Tiwaringe as respondents. Justice Makonese granted a provisional order in favour of Khumalo and his wife for the Israelis to stop operations.

The Israelis then went on to challenge the ruling.

The couple's lawyer, Norman Mugiya of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In February, the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court and police visited the gold mine and met resistance from Chikarara who produced an urgent chamber application challenging the order. Chikarara was subsequently arrested on a charge of contempt of court.

Langa has been sucked in the mine ownership dispute with claims that he was fraudulently given 10 percent shares in the mine by Israelis Dray and Habot. A Bulawayo lawyer Sindiso Mazibisa is also said to be a shareholder in the mine.

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 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.

Khumalo and Mufambi were allegedly served with a fake provisional order allegedly obtained at the Bulawayo High Court on December 7, 2011.

When their 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 Registrar's 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 at 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