Ex-Anjin employees petition court over terminal benefits

Chinese miner Anjin’s former employees have petitioned the High Court seeking leave to execute judgment pending appeal after the diamond miners obtained an order thwarting the attachment of its property over a $407 422 salary debt.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Anjin, whose mining operations were halted following the seizure of all diamond mines in Chiadzwa by the government in February 2016, was last month ordered to pay its 127 ex-employees their terminal benefits.

The ex-employees’ contracts had been affected by the mine’s closure.

On October 10, 2018, four months after Anjin lost a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenge on the seizure of its assets by government, High Court judge Justice Amie Tsanga granted the workers a writ of execution.

Anjin appealed the decision.

In his founding affidavit, one of the former employees, Shingirayi Nyangoni, represented by Bherebhende Law Chambers, said Anjin’s appeal was simply meant to “buy as much time as is possible”.

“This is an application seeking leave to execute a judgment which was granted by Justice Tsanga on October 10, 2018. I must state that in pursuit of the order issued by this honourable court, applicants (ex-employees) had caused a warrant of attachment of respondent’s (Anjin Investments) movable property to be issued, paid the sheriff’s fees and caused respondent’s property to be attached,” Nyangoni said.

“In a bid to stop the sheriff from removing the attached property and from attaching further property, the respondent then filed an appeal that was granted by Justice Tsanga … it is my humble view that the appeal by respondent was a desperate attempt to stall the attachment and removal of its property, notwithstanding the findings by this honourable court.

“That the appeal was only filed after applicant had attached respondent’s property is a clear indication that the appeal was motivated by a desire to overturn the judgment by Justice Tsanga. I genuinely believe that the respondent’s appeal is intended to delay the day of reckoning and to buy as much time as is possible.”

According to the court papers, the 127 ex-Anjin Investments employees were owed the money as part of their salaries and terminal benefits.

Initially, the employees had filed an urgent application seeking to compel their employer to fulfil the terms of the mutual termination agreement, arguing the mine was no longer going to resume operations.

In their application, the employees had argued that the application by Anjin, challenging the government’s decision, was finalised in March 2016 and there were no longer prospects of the mine resuming operations.

However, Anjin opposed the application, arguing that it was not able to continue its mining operations or earn any income so as to enable it to pay compensation, but the court ruled otherwise.

The court application is yet to be set down for hearing.

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