Delta loses US$125m Supreme Court appeal

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By Staff Reporter

DELTA Beverages Holdings has had its appeal at the Supreme Court in which it was challenging an earlier High Court Judgement in a long-standing legal battle with South African giant, Blackey Plastics, over a supply chain agreement involving USD125 million dollars thwarted.
Justices of appeal, Alphas Chitakunye, Chinembiri Bhunu and J Lavender Makoni upheld the High Court decision by Justice Webster Chinamora.
“The High Court’s finding that the written agreement was an act of the appellant cannot be faulted given the evidence placed before it. Delta Beverages is bound to the contract it entered into,” the judges said.
“As the contract provided for amendment, if Delta Beverages realized they had not bargained well, its recourse was to seek amendments in terms of the contract. The appeal is without merit and accordingly, it is ordered that the appeal be and is hereby dismissed with costs.”
Delta Beverages’ major subsidiary Schweppes Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd also recently lost a Supreme Court appeal in an attempt to wiggle out of another 265 million rands existing supply chain agreement involving the same supplier Blackey Plastics (PTY) LTD.
Earlier this year in February, Justice George Chiweshe sitting with Chinembiri Bhunu and Justice Joseph Musakwa dismissed their appeal and upheld the High Court decision by Justice Tawanda Chitapi with an extempore Judgement.
On both matters, Delta Beverages was represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu instructed by Scanlen & Holderness legal practitioners while Blackey Plastics was represented by Advocate Feroz Girach instructed by Atherstone & Cook legal practitioners.
When Blakey Investments asked for payment of R150 million rand for goods sold and delivered pursuant to the agreement, Delta refused to pay and approached the High Court for an order declaring that the agreement was void and unenforceable for not complying with the laws of Zimbabwe or unenforceable because it was contrary to public policy.
 In his ruling, Justice Webster Chinamora had noted that the agreement contained a clause that allowed any offending part to be severed from the contract, or for the offending clause to be read and construed in a manner that allowed for conformity with the law.
He upheld the agreement signed by the parties in March 2018, finding that it could not be impugned because Delta failed to establish a basis upon which the court could grant the relief sought.
Contacted for comment the Group CEO of  Blackey Plastics Mr Suman Panday said they are extremely grateful and ecstatic after receiving this long awaited Judgemen.
“This is an, well articulated and brilliant Judgement.”
The prominent South African businessman said it is extremely encouraging to note that Zimbabwe’s superior courts fairly exercise jurisprudence without any fear or favor.