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Van Blerk up for fraud

By Zvikomborero Parafini

Pokugara Properties managing director Micheal Van Blerk was yesterday hauled to court charged with fraud.

Michael Van Blerk
Michael Van Blerk

Van Blerk was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko who released him on $2000 bail coupled with other stringent conditions.

He was ordered to surrender title deeds of his house in Borrowdale, to report once a week at Borrowdale police station and not to interfere with State witnesses.

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Prosecuting Zivanai Macharaga told the court that between June and September 2016, Georgis Katsimberis entered into three joint venture agreements with Kenneth Raydon Sharpe and formed three companies Borrowdale Ecofriendly Estates, Gunhill Ecofriendly Estates and Pokugara Ecofriendly Estates.

The purpose of the joint venture agreement was to form residential property company that owns and rents developed houses and flats.

Pokugara was allegedly formed by two parties, the first being Kilimanjaro, Porcupine and Hamter Trust represented Kenneth Radon Sharpe while the second being Coolfitch Investments by Katsimbiris and the shareholding structure was 50 percent for each party.

The first party’s obligation was to contribute 13 stands totalling 25 931 square meters at an agreed value of US$34,08 per square meter giving a total land value of US$883 728,48 which was subject to be further subdivided into smaller cluster stands for the joint venture company.

The second party’s obligation was to avail funds equivalent to 13 stands availed by the first party. The second party was to raise the same amount and apply it in the building of the hoses for the joint venture.

It is further alleged that the second party had framed diagrams done and approved by the surveyor General’s office.

He also made diagrams which included sewer and water reticulation as well as constructing a single storey show house on one of the 21 cluster stands.

The framed diagrams were in possession of Katsimberis for safekeeping and the City of Harare had reportedly approved them.

A dispute reportedly arose prompting the first party to initiate the cancellation of the joint venture agreement and in pursuance of this Blerk who was the Managing director of Pokugara and was working in connivance with Sharpe and with knowledge that the original framed diagrams were being held by Katsimberis wrote and signed an affidavit in which he lied to the Surveyor General that the original copies had been lost.

On October 8 last year, Blerk allegedly went to the Surveyor General’s office and tendered the affidavit accompanied by a letter requesting the cancellation of the framed diagrams.

The framed diagrams were then cancelled prejudicing Katsimberis.

The matter as remanded to June 18. H-Metro