Wednesday, 1 November 2017


THE High Court has dismissed an application by a South African wholesale textile company and a Bulawayo garment manufacturing firm demanding nearly R5 million from the Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC-T allegedly for the supply of 200 000 T- shirts and head scarves.

MDC-T had allegedly made the order for use during its campaign ahead of the 2008 Presidential runoff, which Mr Tsvangirai opted out of after claiming acts of violence against his party supporters.
The manufacturing firms, Cabat Trade and Finance (Pvt) Ltd of Johannesburg in South Africa and Security Mills (Pvt) Ltd of Belmont in Bulawayo wanted about R 4, 6 million from MDC-T for the alleged consignment of party T-shirts and regalia supplied.

The money was supposed to be paid in South Africa including the value added tax.
In papers before the court, Cabat Trade and Finance and Security Mills cited MDC-T as the defendant.

According to court papers, sometime in April 2008, MDC-T legislator Mr Eddie Cross and Mr Simon Spooner entered into an oral contract with Mr Lawrence Zlattner, representing Security Mills, in terms of which the former ordered on behalf of the MDC-T some party material for the 2008 elections.

Security Mills supplied the consignment. In dismissing the application, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva said Mr Zlattner took a conscious risk and acted recklessly without ascertaining who exactly he was contracting with.
“I come to the conclusion that the plaintiffs have failed to discharge the onus which is cast upon them of showing that by reason of the defendant’s conduct they had been led to supply the goods in question on the strength of representations made by the defendant. In the circumstances, it is ordered that the plaintiffs’ claims be and hereby dismissed,” ruled the judge.

The order was for the manufacturing and supply of 200 000 T shirts and head scarves, commonly known as “doeks and bandanas.” The said order was to be supplied in batches.

Mr Cross and Mr Spooner made an undertaking to pay as MDC-T agents but they defaulted prompting the companies to drag them to the High Court via summons claiming the amount owed. Given the size of the order, Security Mills agreed to manufacture the total order in batches with MDC-T paying on tender of delivery of each batch.

MDC-T, in its defence through lawyer Mr Douglas Mwonzora, argued that Mr Cross and Mr Spooner did not have “express authority” to enter into a contract with the manufacturing company thus there was no legal basis of suing the party.

This was despite the fact that the MDC-T allegedly took all the merchandise that was ordered by Mr Cross and Mr Spooner and distributed it to its members.

The two firms, through lawyers Joel Pincus Konson and Wolhuter, said neither Cross nor Spooner and or the MDC-T paid for all the T-shirts, bandanas, doeks and other material.

The MDC-T denied that it had authorised Mr Eddie Cross and Mr Spooner to enter into the alleged contract. It averred that neither Mr Cross nor Mr Spooner had authority to enter into contracts on their behalf.

The party also denied that it had purchased anything from Cabat Trade and Finance. chronicle


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