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City businessman granted $2 000 bail

By Prosper Dembedza

Harare businessman Michael van Blerk on Tuesday appeared in court on fraud charges after he allegedly submitted an affidavit to the Surveyor- General that led to the cancellation of framed diagrams for a residential development.

Michael Van Blerk
Michael Van Blerk

Van Blerk (59) appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko and was granted $2 000 bail.

He was ordered not to interfere with witnesses and to surrender his passport to the Clerk of Court.

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He will also be reporting once every Monday at Borrowdale Police Station and continue residing at his given address.

It is alleged that during the period between June 15, 2016 and September 23, Georgious Katsimberis entered into joint venture agreements with Kenneth Raydon Sharpe and formed Borrowdale Eco-friendly Estate (Private) Limited represented by Katsimberis. The shareholding structure was 50 percent each.

The court heard that the purpose of the joint venture agreement was to form a property firm that owns and rents developed houses and flats.

The first party’s obligation was to contribute 13 stands totalling to 25 931 square metres at an agreed value of US$34,08 per square metre giving a total value of US$883 728,48 which were 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 amount of US$883 728, 48 was to be applied by the second party towards the building of the houses for the joint venture company.

The second party had framed diagrams done and approved by the Surveyor-General’s Office under diagram SG number 756/2017.

He also made some developments, which included sewer and water reticulation as well as constructing a single-storey cluster showhouse on one of the 21 cluster stands.

The framed diagrams were retained by Katsimbreis for safekeeping.

The court heard that a dispute arose between the first party and second party resulting in the termination of the joint venture agreement.

Michael John van Black, who was the managing director of Pokugara Properties (Private) limited and working in connivance with Kenneth Ravdon Sharpe signed an affidavit in which he lied to the Surveyor-General that the original copies of the diagrams had been lost under some unknown circumstances.

On October 8, 2018 the accused allegedly went to the Surveyor-General’s Office where he tendered the affidavit accompanied by a letter requesting for cancellation of the framed diagrams.

Acting on the misrepresentation the Surveyor-General’s Office cancelled the framed diagram SG756/2017 for the land shares 1-21 and building locations A-H, J-N and P-W on stand number 19559, Harare Township as indicated by a letter from the Surveyor-General’s Office dated December 6, 2018

As a result the accused person’s misrepresentation, the complainant suffered an actual prejudice yet to be ascertained. The Herald