Ex-Pokugara employee denies perjury charges

22 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
Ex-Pokugara employee denies perjury charges

The Herald

Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent

A former employee of Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd, John Micheal Van Blerk, has denied allegations of perjury by building contractor, George Katsimberis, describing them as baseless and unsustainable at law.

A legal dispute has arisen after Pokugara Properties contracted Katsimberis to construct a show house at the former’s housing project site in Borrowdale which was later demolished by the city council.

Katsimberis is claiming Van Blerk and his former employers, Pokugara, lied that he obtained fake building permits in respect of the show house which was later destroyed for having been built unlawfully.

The perjury matter was heard before Harare Magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna yesterday with the defence led by Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara arguing that the charge was also embarassing.

Mr Van Blerk, through Adv Zhuwarara, is denying the allegations arguing that they were calculated to embarrass them and affirms that he and his former employer never acted unlawfully in any way .

“Our law relating to all allegations made in affidavit is very clear and leaves the present prosecution still-born and embarrassing to respond to. The prosecution cannot sustain allegations of perjury where the averments contained in the affidavit in question were admitted by the complainant,” reads part of the defence outline.

Mr Van Blerk said the prosecution’s papers did not reveal a cognisable offence at law.

“Once the complainant legally admitted the averments as contained in the second accused’s affidavit in HC 8943/18, then such averments cannot be the impugned as having been false in a lower court such as this one. An admission whether made directly or indirectly is binding,” said the defence.

Mr Van Blerk further stated that the prosecution could not predicate a prosecution of perjury where the averments made by an accused in civil proceedings were admitted by the complainant.

“Perjury cannot actuate from an affidavit whose averments were admitted by the complainant as having been true in the proceedings wherein such affidavit was lodged.

“The charge is therefore incompetent and embarrassing and must be quashed,” said Mr Van Blerk in his defence outline.

He said the complainant never disputed the allegations in the affidavit despite having been served with the same under HC 8943/18. The show house was then lawfully demolished at the instance and direction of the City of Harare who were acting in terms of section 32,34 and 35 of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act.

Mr Van Blerk further alleges that the allegations of perjury are unsustainable and designed to militate against the criminal proceedings the complainant was facing for unlawfully obtaining fake building permits in respect of the show house that was later destroyed for having been built unlawfully on Pokugara Properties land.

Mr Zivanai Macharaga from the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) prosecuted and the matter was deferred to January 31.

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