FORMER Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s son, Siqokoqela, who was recently prohibited from interfering with the operations of their family businesses, Choppies Distribution Centre and Choppies Enterprises, following accusations of swindling the businesses of a combined $80 000, has approached the High Court seeking to have the order set aside.
BY CHARLES LAITON
According to the court papers, sometime in July 2018, Choppies Distribution Centre and Choppies Enterprises filed an urgent chamber application seeking to bar Siqokoqela and his wife, Nomagugu, from interfering with the businesses operations and the matter was determined on July 10, 2018 during which time a provisional order was granted at the High Court.
However, since then, Choppies Distribution Centre and Choppies Enterprises did not to pursue the matter, prompting Siqokoqela and his wife to file an application for dismissal of the matter for want of prosecution.
“On August 24, 2018, the first, second and third applicants [Siqokoqela, Nomagugu and Nanavac Investments (Pvt) Ltd] herein filed their opposing papers to the said application … since that date the respondents (Choppies Distribution Centre and Choppies Enterprises) have not taken any steps to prosecute the said application and the matter has remained in limbo for no apparent reason. It could be that the respondents, for unknown reasons, developed cold feet about bringing the matter to finality while enjoying the benefits of the terms of the interim relief granted,” the Mphokos said through their lawyer Welshman Ncube.
“… In the instant case, respondents being the applicants in the matter HC6297 have failed to file an answering affidavit nor have they filed heads of argument in terms of Rule 238(1) to enable them to apply to have the matter set down … the application under the case amounted to an abuse of court process in seeking to draw this court into what are essentially shareholder and boardroom disputes which must be attended to through meetings of the board of directors and shareholders and hence respondents should be penalised with an order of costs on a an attorney and client scale.”
In the main application, Choppies Distribution Centre and Choppies Enterprises chief executive officer, Ramachandran Ottapathu, accused the Mphokos of siphoning thousands of dollars from the business and threatening employees with dismissals and deportations.