Katsimberis’ConCourt application struck off roll

THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt) has struck off the roll a case where property developer, George Katsimberis was seeking permanent stay of proceedings in a fraud and perjury case.

Katsimberis had argued that his constitutional rights were being violated as on one hand he was appearing in court as an accused person while on the other as a witness.

In his application, he cited Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and four magistrates, Letwin Rwodzi, Barbra Mateko, Noel Mupeiwa, Stanford Mambanje and prosecutor-general Nelson Mutsonziwa as respondents.

Three ConCourt judges, Justice Anne Gowora, Justice Paddington Garwe and Justice Ben Hlatswayo presided over the matter on Monday and ruled that the application was filed late and that the applicant had not sought condonation.

Katsimberis was appearing at the Harare Magistrates Court as a State witness in the case of Pokugara Properties ex-director Michael van Blerk, where the latter was being charged with perjury.  Van Blerk has since been acquitted.

He is also before the courts as an accused after he allegedly built a showroom in Borrowdale, Harare, using a forged building plan. The showroom was part of a joint venture project he was undertaking with Pokugara Properties. In his ConCourt application, he had argued that the cases were based on the same facts; and therefore, having them running concurrently violated his constitutional rights.

Katsimberis approached the ConCourt after High Court judge Justice Siyabonga Paul Musithu had dismissed his application for permanent stay of prosecution.

The judge said there was nothing wrong with the parallel prosecutions because they were done by different organs, namely the Special Anti-Corruption Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority.

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