SA businessman ‘conned’ $40k

GWERU — A South African businessman Marius Bester was allegedly duped of
$40 000 by a 34-year-old Zimbabwean chrome miner who promised to supply him with 272 tonnes of chrome ore, but later failed to fulfil the deal.

Report by Stephen Chadenga, Own corespondent

The chrome miner, Symptoms Siwawa, who resides in the Valley Resettlement Area in Shurugwi and owns Spilsat Mining, allegedly promised to supply Bester with chrome and when a deposit of $40 000 was made into his account, he failed to supply the consignment.

Siwawa, who appeared before Gweru magistrate Sithembinkosi Msipa on Tuesday, is said 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 trio allegedly agreed to enter into a chrome deal where Siwawa would supply Bester with 1 000 tonnes of 43 percent chrome ore at a price of $100 per tonne.

Bester, who is also the managing director of a South African company Double Stars Trading, visited the accused person’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 returned to South Africa and instructed his partner Maporisa to finalise the contract with the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).

After the accused and complainant had received a contract from MMCZ, the complainant transferred $40 000 into the accused person’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.

Accused, however, failed to meet his side of the bargain, leading to the complainant making a police report on April 18.
Bonwell Balamanja is the State counsel.

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