- April 16, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Mining giant RIOZIM Limited’s application seeking a contempt of court order against a mining company, Rusununguko Nkululeko, for allegedly defying a judgment by continuing to carry out mining activities on the international conglomerate’s chrome ore claims in Darwendale has been dismissed for lack of merit.
The gold mining conglomerate also wanted Rusununguko Nkululeko’s two directors, Mr Mohammed Tariq Aziz and his Dutch counterpart Mr Aneeqa Zubair – listed as second and third respondents, to be imprisoned for six months.
High Court Judge, Justice Happias Zhou ruled in favour of the two directors. He found that there were disputes of facts in the matter which were essential to the determination of the application which could not be resolved on the papers.
This was after the two directors denied the allegations against them, arguing they had suspended mining operations at the disputed site.
The duo told Justice Zhou that the area in which Block 43 (mining claim) falls had been cantoned by the Ministry of Defence and that designation of the cantonment was subject of a court challenge by RioZim.
During the hearing, RioZim lawyers referred to some letters written on behalf of Rusununguko Nkululeko directors.
The lawyers implored the court to consider the letters as evidence that Rusununguko Nkululeko continued to mine on the disputed claim in defiance of the provisional court order.
But Justice Zhou found that such a factual finding based on probabilities and credibility of witnesses could not be made on the papers.
“However, in the face of the dispute of fact, the only conclusion that this court can reach is that the applicant (RioZim) has failed on a balance of probabilities that the respondents continued to carry mining operations on the disputed mine in defiance of the court order,” he said.
“The wilful disobedience to a court order has, therefore, not been established.”
RioZim had wanted Rusununguko Nkululeko held to be in contempt of court on the basis that they disobeyed the court order and a fine of $60 000 imposed on Mr Aziz and Mr Zubair.
According to RioZim, the basis of its application is that the cited firms and directors had continued carrying out mining activities on its registered claim at Wendale 43, in open defiance of a court order granted by another judge Justice Neville Wamambo on June 15, 2018 under case number HC5212/18.
The order barred the respondents from mining at the site until finalisation of the matter.