Sunday Mail Reporter
LAWYERS representing Dr Gatsha Mazithulela have claimed that the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) director Siphosami Malunga and his two partners fraudulently acquired Kershelmar Farm, which the trio claims to own.
The farm — located in Nyamandhlovu, Matabeleland North — is at the centre of a Bulawayo High Court battle pitting Malunga and his partners Zephania Dhlamini and Charles Moyo on the one hand and Dr Mazithulela and National University and Technology (NUST) lecturer Mr Dumisani Madziyanyathi on the other. The trio filed an application claiming they bought the farm from the previous owner of the Kershelmar Pvt Ltd and thus the farm could not be gazetted for acquisition.
However, in his heads of argument, Dr Mazithulela, through his lawyers, said the trio acquired the farm without following the law.
“First and Third Applicants (Dhlamini and Moyo) contrived a plan to buy rural agricultural property without following laid down procedures.
“The law is clear: obtain a certificate of no present interest. In the absence of such a certificate, the sale, in terms of the express purpose of the law, is null and void,” Dr Mazithulela said.
The applicants, he added, were all aware of the provisions of the law, but “there is a deliberate, if not disturbingly abnormal denialism on their part”.
“Their fraud has been exposed and they now wish to waste the court’s valuable time in slandering innocent persons, all in an effort to undermine the country’s land reform and present economic recovery spearheaded by the agricultural sector.”
In his heads of argument, Mr Madzivanyathi said the trio bought shares from Kershelmar Farms (Pvt) (Ltd), which owned the land, and later discovered that it had been gazetted for acquisition and now seek to reverse that action.
“After a series of alleged events described between paragraphs 53 and 75 of the founding affidavit, the applicants discovered that the pieces of land had been gazetted by the First Respondent (Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development). Considering these events allegedly connected to the gazetting of the land, the applicants now seek to impugn the acquisition of the two pieces of land,” he said.
The matter is now awaiting determination.