BCL to defend P748m lawsuit

Jimson Kemoreilwe and Dikarabo Ramadubu - BG reporters
Monday, 08 August 2016
BCL to defend P748m lawsuit

Embattled management of the cash-strapped BCL mine has no way out but to fight the P748m lawsuit instituted by Inforbuild Marketing to the bitter end.

Inforbuild accuses BCL of acting in bad faith as well as wanting to steal Inforbuild idea and use it for their business gain. Botswana Guardian broke the story early this year.BCL has so far lost all the stages heard before the courts. Last week the copper and nickel miner lost its claim for damages against Inforbuild before the Court of Appeal - which is a case within a case. Inforbuild carries on the business of waste treatment and disposal solutions, water treatment and recycling and on-site management, commercial and domestic waste solutions, land remediation and rehabilitation, mineral tailings disposal and beneficiation.

Inforbuild claim follows their successful urgent interdict application on 21st January 2016, which was heard by the Lobatse High Court in which they wanted BCL restrained from implementing the Water Treatment Plant Tender, Inquiry number 11648, and from doing anything thereafter and in pursuance thereof pending the final determination of the substantive issues under the Agreement entered into by Inforbuild and BCL on 13 August 2014.

Last week a quorum of three Court of Appeal judges - Lord Abernethy, Lord Hamilton and Lord Brand - struck out the appeal with costs including the costs of the counsel to Inforbuild. BCL appealed after Justice Jennifer Dube granted Inforbuild the interdict and further ordered that BCL is interdicted and restrained from using any information which forms the subject of the agreement entered into between Inforbuild and BCL in dealings with any party without the written consent of and to the exclusion of Inforbuild pending the final determination of the substantive issues under the agreement.

Justice Dube gave Inforbuild the right to institute its action within 30 days of the date of her ruling, failing which the interdict shall lapse. Based on the CoA judgement, BCL has been served a bitter pill to swallow as their only way out which could save them face and money is either to re offer the multi million tender back to Inforbuild or since the company is cash strapped, renegotiate to possibly reduce the awarded tender amount in order to meet their budget. This is despite the fact that by their own admission their relationship with Inforbuild is sour.

What’s next?
Now that the BCL appeal has been struck out of the case brought before Justice Singh Walia by Inforbuild which was originally set for June 30 will continue on the date to be decided by the court. Inforbuild approached the court praying for damages of P747, 861, 271.00 being profit they stood to make over a period of 15 years after the installation of the plant.

They also demand to be paid P9.2 million for the time lost as well as be reinstated on a project that BCL engaged them to find a solution for the Mine’s water problem.

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