Mugabe’s ex-pilot dragged into nasty SA land fight

via Mugabe’s ex-pilot dragged into nasty SA land fight – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 3, 2015

BUSINESS magnate Robert Mhlanga has been sucked into a dispute between two businesspeople in neighbouring South Africa, who are feuding over the payment of a R5 million commission for facilitating a land deal with the Zimbabwean.


Reports from Durban, South Africa, claim the Mbada Diamonds chairman and President Robert Mugabe’s former personal pilot, was at the centre of the dispute.

According to the Mercury newspaper, Durban High Court Judge Piet Koen is presiding over the case pitting international pharmaceutical and advertising guru, Martin Sherwood against Michelle Mauvis, the wife of a Durban restaurant owner, Robert.

Sherwood, the paper reported, claims he introduced Michelle to Mhlanga.

This resulted in Mhlanga paying R100 million for her 7-hectare plot on the border of the plush Zimbali Estate on the North Coast, which she had bought 20 years before for R100 000.

He says it was understood by both parties, Mhlanga and their attorneys, that he [Sherwood] would get a 5% “commission” for the introduction, but Michelle flatly denies this and refuses to pay.

“It is an issue of principle for me rather than anything else,” Sherwood said during his evidence on the first day of the trial on Monday.

“I feel very let down.”

The case has exposed details of Mhlanga’s property “shopping trip” where he paid highly inflated prices for several properties in the Durban area, the paper reported.

Sherwood’s 7ha, for which Mhlanga paid R85 million, came with development rights, a mansion and a stunning view over Zimbali’s golf course and the sea.

But Michelle’s property, which was zoned agricultural land, only had a small shop and pottery and had a less attractive view.

Mhlanga, while prepared to give an affidavit confirming that he was aware of the 5% deal, says he is not in South Africa and cannot testify.

Mauvis’s lawyers are fighting the admissibility of his affidavit, saying it would be “immensely prejudicial” because he cannot be cross-examined.

It was agreed that the issue would be dealt with at a later stage, and that Mhlanga’s attorney, Paul Casasola, would be called to testify.

In his evidence-in-chief, Sherwood said his relationship with Michelle had been fraught since she had sided with Moreland in a court dispute over access to his property “which cost me in the region of R2 million” and had resulted in his land being less valuable in terms of development.


  • comment-avatar
    Yayano 7 years ago

    Sounds like this Mhlanga guy was throwing money around – where did he get the money from when it looks like he didn’t care so much about the money.

  • comment-avatar
    Ndonga 7 years ago

    Mr. Mhlanga cannot come and give evidence before the court because he knows that the first question that he will be asked is, “Who is the real owner of these two properties that you paid a total of R 185 million for?” His reaction will be a long stutter, a long pause and then the whispered gulped answer, “Me”.
    Then the next question, “Would you be kind enough to tell this court how you as a working man managed to acquire such a huge sum?” Mr. Mhlanga, “Can I advise the court that I am the owner of Mbada Diamonds in the Eastern area of Zimbabwe and that I make substantial profits from this operation”.
    “Can I congratulate you on owning such a profitable mine. But is it not true that the mine has debts in excess of US$ 60 million?” “But, but, but…” Many more questions later Mr Mhlanga will be a blubbering man with no credibility and his brave attempt to support his friend Mr Sherwood worthless.
    Please umfowethu, stay at home in Zimbabwe and avoid that court case at all cost.
    Everyone in South Africa and Zimbabwe know who the real owner of these two properties is. Where else would such a huge sum come from? But from our beloved Mr. Robert Mugabe…a poor and penniless President…that is if you believe his wife Mrs. Grace Mugabe.
    Yes, the Rule of Law is an annoying thing for our leaders in Zimbabwe. Let us hope I hope that this is the start of them seeing the power of its long arm…

    • comment-avatar
      Don Fireman 7 years ago

      Truth of the matter is, in a South African court all that is irrelevant. Whether he got the money legally or through dirty deals is not important in this case, lol

  • comment-avatar
    Pretty 7 years ago

    Robert Mhlanga owns the R185 million property in Sandton. He was looting all the diamond money from Chiadzwa. His daughter was earning almost $100 000 a month. I think he is still taking all the money from the diamond fields. He is believed to be in partnership with a company called Reclamation in South Africa. These are some of the people who should account for their deeds when new Zimbabwe comes!