HomeLocal NewsWitness stopped from giving evidence

Witness stopped from giving evidence


THE State witness in the perjury trial of former Pokugara properties general manager Michael Van Blerk was yesterday stopped from testifying by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna who described his evidence as hearsay, which violates provisions of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

The witness in the matter, Roy Nyabvure who was employed by Harare City Council had tried to give evidence on a document that was prepared by another council employee.

But Van Blerk’s lawyer, advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara objected to his testimony saying that the witness was violating section 253 of the Criminal Law and Evidence Act.

Nyabvure had referred to a document that was submitted in court as an exhibit.  It was prepared by another person who works in council, and stated that the building plans in the matter had been approved.

He further said the documents were valid although he was not the one who prepared them during the time when he was a council employee.

Zhuwarara objected to the evidence saying it was hearsay.

After lengthy submissions, Nduna  concurred with Zhuwarara that Nyabvure as a former employee of the City of Harare could not comment on documents that he did not create, or was a custodian of, because that would be hearsay evidence.

Zhuwarara said City of Harare officials are on record stating that the permits that property developer George Katsimberis obtained the documents fraudulently.

He said Nyabvure could not testify to the fact that the permits were valid based on documents which he himself did not create.

Nduna struck Nyabvure’s evidence off the record and held that it was not admissible for him to claim that the documents were valid.

During one of the court sessions, Katsimberis had testified under cross examination by  Zhuwarara where he admitted that he sent his engineer to Cleveland house to get the building plan of cluster houses that he was supposed to build in Borrowdale.

“My engineer went to Cleveland to get the building plan stamped and approved,” Katsimberis said.

Zhuwarara then asked if the engineer went to the Mt Pleasant office or Cleveland house, to which Katsimberis said it was Cleveland house.

Zhuwarara then asked if he knew that only industrial building plans are sent to Cleveland house, while home plans were sent to Mt Pleasant.

Katsimberis said he was sure that the building plans were approved at Cleveland house.

Zhuwarara then asked Katsimberis if he had any proof apart from the receipts that his building plans were approved at Cleveland house, to which he said he had no proof.

Zhuwarara further told Katsimberis that if he had issues with the documents provided by Van Blerk he should have stopped the matter from getting heard at the High Court.

The lawyer further said the High Court matter was removed from the roll but Katsimberis appealed at the Supreme Court, and his case was again dismissed.

Van Blerk is denying the perjury allegations saying the charges are contrived and calculated to embarrass him.

The showroom in question was constructed by Katsimberis under a joint venture deal with Pokugara Properties.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading