BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE Greek property developer George Katsimberis caused a scene at the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday as he insisted on testifying in his native language, saying he was not conversant with English.
Katsimberis was giving evidence in a matter where he accuses Harare City Council officials of destroying a model house he claimed to have jointly built with another property developer.
Last week, he was nearly slapped with a contempt of court charge after demanding to testify in Greek before his lawyer apologised.
Yesterday, Katsimberis pretended that he did not understand English, and magistrate Florence Chakanyuka had to call him to order.
After the warning, Katsimberis then spoke fluently in English for almost two hours.
The accused persons in the matter are Michael Van Blerk of Pokugara Properties, Zvenyika Chawatama, Mandla Marlone Ndebele, Samuel Nyabezi and Lasten Taonezvi, who were represented by Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara and Charles Kwaramba.
Katsimberis claimed that the accused persons destroyed a model house he built in Borrowdale after signing a joint venture agreement with Pokugara to build cluster houses.
Harare City Council staff destroyed the house, saying the structure had not been approved.
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Katsimberis alleged that he obtained a permit and approved plans from the City of Harare on behalf of Pokugara Properties, but the local authority denied the existence of the permits.
The matter was postponed to April 13 for continuation.
Allegations are that sometime between July and October 2018, at Lot 9 of 21 on consolidated number 19559 of 19828 Harare Township, at the corner of Teviotdale and Whitwell roads in Borrowdale, the accused persons destroyed the showroom built by Katsimberis without a court order.
Katsimberis alleged that the accused acted in common purpose when they demolished his show house without advising him.
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