Mashudu Netsianda Senior Court Reporter
SPORT, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langa and his business partners were yesterday accused of defying a court order to vacate a gold mine in Filabusi, Insiza district when the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court was blocked from carrying out an eviction.
Langa has been sucked into the mine ownership dispute with a Filabusi family claiming that he was fraudulently given 10 percent shares in the mine by Israelis Reoven Meyer Dray and Avi Habot.
Dray and Habot initially entered into a partnership with the couple – Nqobile Khumalo and Francisca Mufambi – before they were later ditched and the minister came into the picture.
Khumalo and Mufambi then approached the Bulawayo High Court which granted them a provisional order barring the Israelis from interfering with operations at the mine.
The couple cited Dray, Habot, Trianic Investments and Dorcas Tiwaringe as the respondents. Langa was not cited as the couple said they did not recognise his partnership with the Israelis.
Last month, Justice Martin Makonese ordered the respondents not to interfere with the applicants’ operations at the mine, paving the way for the Deputy Sheriff to descend on the mine yesterday.
In a letter written on Monday, Khumalo and his wife, through their lawyer, Norman Mugiya of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, asked the Deputy Sheriff to evict the respondents.
“We refer to a court order that was granted by Justice Makonese on January 15, 2015. We advise that the respondents have continued to disregard the court order and continued to operate despite the order interdicting them to do so,” reads part of the letter.
“Kindly proceed to evict the respondents from the mine known as Eric 21, Trianic Investment, Filabusi in terms of the order and in particular to Clause (4) of the order. You are also required to hand over possession and or operations of the mine to the applicant in terms of the order.”
Mugiya yesterday said by virtue of being in a partnership with the Israelis, Langa was part of those resisting eviction.
Following yesterday’s decision by the respondents to block the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court from evicting the respondents, Mugiya said they would make an application for contempt of court.
“The order directly affects the minister. The order refers to directors of the company, they’re the main shareholders. According to a document we got from the Registrar of Companies, the CR 14, he is one of those controlling the company,” said Mugiya.
Langa could not be reached yesterday as his mobile was unavailable, but last month he confirmed to Chronicle that he was part of Trianic Investments.
Oliver Chikarara, a director in the company in which the minister has shares, said they blocked the eviction as it was from a default judgment.
“The Deputy Sheriff came and tried to implement the court order but we had to stop him because we’ve filed a notice of opposition. The applicants fraudulently acquired the order in the sense that it was a default judgment as they didn’t serve us with the papers on time,” said Chikarara.