Esidakeni Farm wrangle: Magistrate postpones court case

The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter

TWO of the three accused persons in the ongoing Esidakeni Farm ownership wrangle were yesterday remanded out of custody on free bail to November 23 after Bulawayo magistrate Busani Sibanda posted the court case in order to study the Section under which the accused persons are being charged.

Zephaniah Dlamini (50) of Hillside and Charles Moyo (58) of Selborne Park in Bulawayo appeared at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Courts facing fraud charges. They are being charged together with Siphosami Malunga (50) of Fourwinds, who did not appear in court.

They are accused of violating Section 9 of the Land Acquisition (Disposal of Rural Land) Regulations, 1999, after they allegedly misrepresented to the Registrar of Deeds that they had bought shares for a certain piece of land in Nyamandlovu known as Kershelmar Farm (Pvt) Company (number 991/207/59) that is Subdivision A of Subdivision B of Umguza Block, measuring 195,8095 hectares and Subdivision C of Umguza Block, measuring 358,1768 and that they are legitimate current directors of the said farm.

The trio, who were represented by Josphat Tshuma of Webb Low and Barry Legal Practitioners, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

It is the State’s case, as represented by prosecutor Thompson Hove that on February 3, 2017, the two accused persons in the company of Malunga proceeded to the Deeds Registration office in Bulawayo where they misrepresented to the Registrar of Deeds that they had bought shares for Kershelmar Farm (Pvt).

“Thereafter acting on this misrepresentation the Registrar of Deed registered the three as the company directors on the prescribed CR 14 form when the three knew that they did not possess the requisite documentation authorising them to be registered as directors; that is the Certificate of no present interest and or an affidavit in lieu of a certificate of no present interest or in lieu of response by the Minister issued in terms of Section 9 of the Land Acquisition (Disposal of Rural Land) Regulations, 1999 thereby causing prejudice to the good administration of the Registration of Deeds,” said Hove.

Section 9 states that the Registrar of Deeds shall not register any transfer of rural land pursuant to a sale unless the deed of is accompanied by – (a) a certificate of no present interest; or (b) an affidavit executed in terms of Section 7: Provided that this section shall not apply to any transfer effected by the State, a local authority or a statutory body.

The trio has already appeared before the courts on numerous occasions facing charges of illegal occupation of Umguzana Farm, also known as Esidakeni.

They were arrested in August for allegedly violating Section 3 (2)(a) of the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act, Chapter 20:28 by refusing to vacate Esidakeni Farm in Nyamandlovu, Umguza District.

Esidakeni Farm

Section 3(2)(a) states that every former owner or occupier of Gazetted land referred to in paragraph (a) of the definition of “Gazetted land” in section 2(1), shall cease to occupy, hold or use that land forty-five days after the fixed date, unless the owner or occupier is lawfully authorised to occupy, hold or use that land;

They are being charged in terms of Section (385) (3) (v) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, Chapter 9,07 which states that in any criminal proceedings against a corporate body, a director or employee of that corporate body shall be cited, as representative of that corporate body, as the offender, and thereupon the person so cited may, as such representative, be dealt with as if he were the person accused of having committed the offence in question, provided that the citation of a director or employee of a corporate body to represent that corporate body in any criminal proceedings instituted against it shall not exempt that director or employee from prosecution for that offence in his personal capacity. — @skhumoyo2000

Article Source: The Chronicle

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