via Langa, Israeli partners lose mine case | The Herald March 20, 2015
SPORT, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langa and his Israeli business partners face eviction from the controversial Trianic Investments Mine in Filabusi after the High Court in Bulawayo yesterday dismissed an urgent chamber application challenging their ouster.
Justice Nokuthula Moyo upheld an order in favour of a Filabusi couple Nqobile Khumalo and his wife Francesca Mufambi.
Israelis, Reoven Meyer Dray and Avi Habot were initially in a partnership with Khumalo and Mufambi, but later ditched them to rope in the minister.
According to the court documents, Khumalo was introduced to Dray and Habot in July 2011, who declared their interest in mining and established a joint venture.
The couple then went to court citing Dray, Habot and a local Dorcas Tiwaringe as respondents and Justice Martin Makonese granted a final order in favour of Khumalo and his wife for the Israelis to stop operations. The Israelis, through one of their partners, Oliver Chikarara, went on to challenge the ruling.
The couple’s lawyer, Norman Mugiya of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, yesterday confirmed the latest developments.
“The judge dismissed the application by Minister Langa and his partners to stop the Sheriff of the High Court from executing an order granted in favour of my clients. The application was dismissed with costs on the basis that it was not merited and that it also lacked urgency,” said Mugiya.
“We are already making arrangements to go back to the mine and evict the respondents and whoever resists will face the consequences of the law.”
Last month, 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 later arrested for contempt of court.
According to the court papers citing Khumalo, his wife and Shumbaimwe as respondents, Trianic Investments and one of its directors, Dray, applied for a stay of execution, arguing that there was no lawful basis for stopping operations.
Langa has been sucked into the mine ownership dispute with claims that he was fraudulently given 10 percent shares in the mine by Dray and Habot. A top Bulawayo lawyer Sindiso Mazibisa is also 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 approached the Bulawayo High Court which granted them a provisional order barring the Israelis from interfering with operations at the mine.
In the initial application, Mugiya stated that his clients were ordered out of the mine by 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 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 of the mine.
They were also interdicted from exercising their signing powers with the company’s Agribank and Stanbic Bank accounts.