Aldlecraft ownership wrangle settled, judge blasts director for lying

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By Mary Taruvinga

LOCAL businessman Ofer Sivan who has been trying to boot out his partners from their investment company has been warned against lying under oath after he misrepresented that he was the sole owner of Adlecrafts Investments.

This comes after it emerged that Sivan had submitted ownership documents to the Zimbabwe Investments Authority (ZIA) confirming that Gilad Shabtai and Munyaradzi Gonyora were shareholders in the company but later backtracked claiming that he was the sole shareholder. The claim has been set aside by the High Court.

In his judgment, High Court judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu ruled Sivan should face consequences of his actions declaring that he is not the sole owner of the company.

“Litigants must be warned and must know that you can only sail through these courts if you are truthful. If you want to lose the confidence of these courts, then adopt a chameleonic behavior,” said the judge.

He added: “The respondents label him a liar who must not be believed. The documents which the applicant now distances himself from were actually executed under his hand.

“One cannot approbate and reprobate, blowing hot and cold has no space in the courts.

“It was the duty of the applicant (Sivan), as the author and/or co-author of the documents, to reveal the truth behind them. The applicant cannot say the documents were a forgery when his signature sits there. Forged by who, for what purpose?

“Sivan prepared his own cake and he must eat it.”

Manzunzu stated that when Sivan disputes that Shabtai and Gonyora are not shareholders, it means he lied to ZIA.

The court heard an investment license was issued on the strength of the information which Sivan supplied which he now wants to dissociate with.

“There is a plethora of cases where the courts have condemned the evidence of a litigant who is economical with the truth,” the judge said.

Manzunzu said Sivan could not in the circumstances interdict Shabtai and Gonyora from presenting themselves as holding equity in Adlecraft Investments.

Sivan alleges fellow directors Shabtai and Gonyora whom he included into his company fraudulently took out US$1.3 million from the company after opening an account with a microfinance institution.

He alleged that he had acquired Adlecraft Investments in 2011, becoming its executive director and sole shareholder with the responsibility of running its affairs.

Shabtai and Gonyora denied that Sivan was the sole shareholder of the company arguing that during the period there were indigenisation laws that didn’t allow foreigners like him to own 100% shareholding in a registered company.

Adlecraft Holdings holds 49% of the shareholding in Adlecraft Investments whilst Gonyora owns 10%.

Shabtai in turn possessed 70% of Adlecraft Holdings which has 49% in Adlecraft Investments, share structure which was presented to ZIA when the company applied for an investment licence.