Law firm ordered to reimburse US$58 000 to SA businessman

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

The Bulawayo High Court Friday ordered a local law firm to reimburse a South African businessman US$58 000 following a failed elephant selling deal.

High Court judge, Justice Nokuthula Moyo ordered Matuso, Taruvinga and Mhiribidi legal practitioners to pay back the businessman, Elkse Burger the money within seven working days.

According to court papers, Burger entered into a semi-adult elephants selling deal with Gwayi based Safari Operator, Langton Masunda.

The deal was struck 2018 with Masunda expected to sell Burger four young elephants.

The money for the purchase of the wild animals was supposed to be deposited into the law firm’s trust account.

Part of the agreement was that if Masunda failed to honour the deal, the money will be returned to Burger.

Masunda however failed to deliver the elephants as per the agreement.

The law firm also failed to pay back Burger his money within the agreed period leading to him and his company Parrklip Trading approaching the High Court through Professor Welshman Ncube of Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers.

Three lawyers from the firm, Arnold Taruvinga, Proud Matuso, David Mhiribidi and Masunda were cited as respondents.

In her judgment, Justice Moyo ruled that since Masunda failed to deliver the jumbos as per the agreement, the law firm into whose trust account the money was held, should refund Burger.

“I accordingly find that the money paid in Trust is to be held until the occurrence of an event and since that has failed, and then it should be paid back to its owner.

“The whole essence of paying money into a trust is to cater for such an eventuality. The sum – so payable is claimable in foreign currency as it was a foreign debt,” ruled Justice Moyo.