Magistrate Postpones Trial of Waverley Owner’s Daughter Amanda Cohen
21 October 2021

BY STAFF REPORTER| Harare Regional Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti Guwuriro has postponed the trial of Waverley Plastics Private Limited owner Victor Cohen’s daughter Amanda Berkowitz nee Cohen to Monday 26 October.

Berkowitz is facing perjury charges after she disclosed in a High Court affidavit that she subscribes to Waverley Plastic shares.

In postponing Cohen’s trial, Guwuriro requested that she avail certified copies of documentary evidence with the state to address issues of authenticity.Guwuriro last week postponed Berkowitz trial again using the same reasons but her counsel wrote to the Prosecutor register her client’s reservation in sharing the documents.

In her letter, Berkowitz refused to share the documents arguing that since she is the accused person, the state had obligation to prove its case against her.

“Bearing in mind the presumption of innocence has not fallen away and the burden of proof rests on the state. The state has all the machinery and resources available to it, to have thoroughly played its role, in investigating and ensuring that it has all the documentation relevant and connected to this case which it would have obtained in that regard,” said Berkowitz’s lawyer Diana Eunice Kawenda.

She added that the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act had no provisions, which obligates the accused person to discover its evidence.

“This honourable court is a creature of statute and as such, it can only do that which the law says it can do. There is no provision within the criminal procedure and evidence act, which creates an obligation on the accused person to discover its evidence,” added Kawenda.

Berkowitz appeared before Magistrate Guwuriro today to continue with her testimony against Aron Vico who is the complainant in the matter.

Her case is part of an ongoing inheritance dispute that began in 2017 following Victor Cohen, the company owner’s death.

The late Cohen’s two daughters Amanda Berkowitz nee Cohen and Belynda Halfon nee Cohen have been elbowed out of the company by their nephew Aron Vico and her mother Debra Vico.

Amanda and Belynda allege that they have not received anything from the company since the death of their father.