One of the directors of House of Pizza, Siva Sangarapillar has dragged former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Member of Parliament(MP) for Nata/Gweta Olifant Mfa before Francistown High Court judge, Lot Moroka for defrauding him cash amounting to about P500 000-00.
The court case follows a botched property sales agreement which never materialised. Leading Sangarapillar’s case, Goralentle Nthatsi told court that his client wilfully and lawfully entered an agreement to be sold Plot 1659 in Francistown.
Nthatsi said that at the time his client was of the belief that the property was a freehold but then it later transpired that the property was not a freehold but a state grant. “At this stage, he consequently made it known to the defendant that what he intended to buy was not what was sold. The plaintiff (Sangarapillar) said the transfer of the property continue and the price be reduced,” Nthatsi said.
He added that the former MP refused.
Taking the court through the events which led to him to drag Mfa before court, Sangarapillar explained that Mfa used to live opposite his house. He said that in August 2012 he entered a contract with Mfa to buy the plot in question.
He said that the agreement was drafted by Elijah Attorneys at the behest of Mfa who then instructed him to go sign the agreement.
He told court that Mfa’s property was advertised for default at Capital Bank and that is how he got to know that the property was for sale. “On auction, I was at the site with intention of bidding but at the auction the Sheriff called off the auction,” he said adding that Mfa then approached him after that.
He said that they met in his office and agreed on the amount. He said they debated on which lawyer to go to but he insisted that they go to Nfila Attorneys who were representing Capital Bank while Mfa suggested that they go to Elijah Attorneys.
Sangarapillar added that in his meeting with Mfa he agreed to pay the money through a lawyer’s account. He told court that within 10 minutes after their meeting they went to Elijah Attorneys where he told the attorney that he wanted a freehold land. He said that Elijah then called Willy Kathurima, a state agent and he assumed that he said that the property is a freehold. He went on to say that he later made a cheque to pay the plot to Elijah Attorneys. “I did not want to deal with Mfa directly so I felt it was safer to go with an attorney’s account. A week later, after I knew that the cheque had gone through I contacted Elijah to make a contract of the transfer,” said Sangarapillar.
He said that two months passed by with nothing from the attorney so he got impatient and called him asking why the transfer was taking too long and the attorney responded that he was still waiting for Mfa to give him the documents. Elijah eventually made the transfer which Sangarapillar says he did not sign as he found out that the land was not a freehold.
“I told Elijah that I paid for a freehold not a state grant, Mfa should reduce the price. He said he would contact him and find out,” he said adding that the response was not forthcoming. Sangarapillar said they were going back and forth with no response for months. When two months elapsed, he went to another attorney to seek advice.
“At some point in time Mfa said that he wished to cancel the contract pay me and I should go.” The unshaken Sangarapillar said that he refused.
He said that Elijah also advised him that Mfa wished to cancel the contract and that he should just take the money and go but he still refused.
The case continues.