Van Blerk, Pokugara Properties Slammed For Poorly Framed Exception Application
22 January 2022
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By A Correspondent| The state has accused Pokugara Properties and its Managing Director Michael John Van Blerk of seeking escape trial in a case in which they are accused of lying under oath, by framing their application for exception using a High Court document that is unknown to the Magistrates Court.

Van Blerk’s trial for perjury has stalled for over two years as he kept raising excuses including lying about his medical condition as government doctors declared him fit for trial and missing court on claims of having fallen from a horse.

His lawyer, Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara has once claimed to have come into contact with COVID-19 positive person, thereby succeeding in their bid to stall trial.

Now with their options seemingly running out, Van Blerk and Pokugara Properties have since notified the court of their plans to apply for exception.

In their arguments for exception, Van Blerk and Pokugara Properties claim that the complainant in this matter, George Katsimberis who is a Harare businessman did not oppose their High Court affidavit hence, he is admitting that he lied about their lie.

In its opposing affidavit, the state represented by Zivanai Macharaga attacked Van Blerk and Pokugara Properties for relying on contents of a High Court document that the Magistrates Court does not have access to.

“In dealing with an exception, accused persons have sought to rely on the contents of High Court papers which forms the basis of the instant charges that accused persons are facing. The High Court papers are not yet before this Court. Those documents can only be produced during trial. They were never submitted into the record in terms of any court order. The Court will not know what those High Court documents contains and whether the defence is correct to say there is any admission or not.

“For the record, the State insist that there is no admission made by complainant on the facts that forms basis of this charge. The Court cannot resolve this disputed existence of an admission without proceeding to trial,” reads part of the State’s response.

Macharaga further scoffed at Van Blerk and Pokugara Properties’ approach to their exception appeal which he said is wrongly framed.

“In this case, the charge is very clear on what the accused persons ought to answer. The claim by accused persons is solely based on state papers that they claim show their defence. This is disputed by the State. This is a wrong way of framing an exception. The State papers in issue is a purported admission by complainant of the facts accused persons are being charged with for perjury,” the state added.

Van Blerk and Pokugara Properties together with City of Harare officials stands accused of lying under oath that Katsimberis did not have approved plans for the show house he constructed as part of a Joint Venture agreement with controversial land baron Kenneth Raydon Sharpe who is now a fugitive or justice.

Katsimberis has submitted to the court proof of payments made to City of Harare for the plans.

A City of Harare employee has also submitted an affidavit confirming the authenticity of the stamps and signatures appended on the plans.

Van Blerk and Pokugara Properties are also facing another charge of Malicious Damage to Property after they connived to destroy the show house in question without a court order.