GWERU – Judgment in a matter in which a South African businessman, Maruis Bester, was allegedly duped by a 34-year-old Zimbabwean in a botched chrome mining deal is set to be delivered on Wednesday.Report by Stephen Chadenga
The miner, Symptoms Siwawa of Spilsat Mining, allegedly promised to supply Bester with 1 000 tonnes of chrome, but when a deposit of $40 000 was made into his account, he failed to supply the consignment.
Last Friday, Gweru magistrate Sithembinkosi Msipa said she would deliver her verdict on the matter after the State had closed its case. Siwawa is alleged to have met Bester, who was in the company of his Zimbabwean business partner Preston Maporisa, at a lodge in Gweru on February 15 last year.
It was at that lodge that the three allegedly agreed to enter into a chrome dealin which Siwawa would supply Bester with 1 000 tonnes of 43% chrome ore at a price of $100 per tonne.
Bester, who is the managing director of a South African company Double Stars Trading, visited Siwawa’s mine sites in Shurugwi where he collected samples of chrome to be grade-tested at the University of Zimbabwe.
On February 17 2011, Bester went back to South Africa and instructed his partner Maporisa to finalise the contract with the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).
Siwawa failed to honour bargain
AFTER the deal was approved by the MMCZ, Bester transferred $40 000 into Siwawa’s account on March 23 2011 for the supply of 272 tonnes of chrome which was supposed to be transported to South Africa within 10 days.
Siwawa, however, failed to meet his side of the bargain, leading to the complainant making a police report on April 18.
Bonwell Balamanja prosecuted.