Choppies Stores chief executive officer Ottapathu Ramachandran has submitted an affidavit to the prosecution withdrawing charges against former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s son, Siqokoqela who was being accused of swindling the retail outlet of over $50 000.
BY SILAS NKALA
Mphokos’ lawyer Welshman Ncube yesterday confirmed that he received the withdrawal affidavit from the complainant, but indicated that the court case still stands until the matter is withdrawn by the court.
“Yes, we have received the affidavit and the affidavit withdraws the complaint against accused, but the court case still stands for now. When we appear in court, the State will tell us and the court what it intends to do and in this case where a complainant has withdrawn the charges, it means that there is no longer any complainant and the State cannot be a complainant in such a case,” Ncube said.
Ncube said the withdrawal will be heard in court on March 5.
In the affidavit he filed with the prosecution at the Bulawayo Regional Court, Ramachandran said: “I represent all the complainants in the matter of State versus Nomagugu Mphoko under CRB Byo 2431/18 and Siqokoqela Mphoko under CRB Byo 2567/18. After some representation and discussions between the complainants and accused persons, the complainants no longer wish to pursue their criminal complaints against the accused persons, and as such, a resolution to withdraw the pending criminal charges has been made. I confirm that this resolution has been made with full appreciation of the consequences thereof and there has not been any undue influence on the complainants.”
Siqokoqela (40), who is out on $200 bail, is facing 170 counts of fraud committed at Choppies retail business.
He is accused of hijacking the Choppies retail business and “looting” more than $50 000 worth of cash and goods.