Van Blerk trial continues next week

Prosper Dembedza Herald Correspondent

The perjury trial of former Pokugara Properties general manager business Mr Michael Van Blerk will continue next week on Tuesday after it was deferred on Tuesday by Harare magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna.

Van Blerk is on record insisting that he never committed any offence

During the last sittings, the State’s second witness was warned against smuggling hearsay evidence during cross examination.

The witness who is a former employee of the City of Harare Mr Roy Nyabvure tried to smuggle in hearsay evidence by claiming that the permits given to George Katsimberis were valid because he had seen other documents that indicated that the permits had been submitted.

Van Blerk’s lawyer Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara objected to the leading of such evidence because it violated Section 253 subsection 1 of the criminal procedure and evidence act.

This provision bares a criminal court from hearing hearsay evidence.

After lengthy submissions, Harare regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna concurred with Advocate Zhwarara that Nyabvure as a former employee of the City of Harare could not comment on documents that he did not create or was a custodian of because that would be hearsay evidence.

Advocate Zhwarara said City of Harare officials are on record in other proceedings stating that the permits that Katsimberis had were obtained fraudulently.

He said Nyabvure could not testify to the fact that the permits were valid based on documents which he himself did not create.

Mr Nduna struck Nyabvure’s evidence off the record and held that it was not admissible for him to claim that they were valid. On the previous sitting, Katsimberis testified under cross examination by  Advocate Zhuwarara, who asked him if he was the one who went to the Cleveland Council house to get the building plan stamped.

Katsimberis admitted that he sent his engineer to Cleveland house to get the building plan of cluster houses that he was supposed to build in Borrowdale.

“My engineer went to Cleveland to get the building plan stamped and approved,” Katsimberis said.

Advocate Zhuwarara then asked if the engineer went to the Mt Pleasant office or Cleveland house to which Katsimberis replied that it was Cleveland.

But Advocate Zhuwarara asked if he knew that only industrial building plans are sent to Cleveland and homes to Mt Pleasant. Katsimberis said he was sure that the building plans were approved at Cleveland.

Advocate Zhuwarara again told Katsimberis that Cleveland house only deals with industrial building plans and not homes.

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