Bredenkamp agrees to pay $3,8m debt

HARARE - Controversial tycoon, John Bredenkamp, has agreed to pay back a $3,8 million debt borrowed from his former friend and businessman Yakub Ibrahim Mohammed over a decade ago.

This was after Bredenkamp yesterday withdrew his Supreme Court appeal in which he was challenging a High Court order instructing him to pay back the money in February this year.

However, his lawyer, Eric Matinenga, yesterday told Supreme Court judges — Luke Malaba, Chinembiri Bhunu and Susan Mavangira — that the parties have since settled the matter.

“I have pleasure of advising the court that the parties have finally found each other and the matter has been settled,” Matinenga said, before urging the court to grant an order withdrawing the case.

Malaba — leading the Supreme Court bench — in his ruling said, “…the appeal is withdrawn for the reason that the parties have reached a settlement on the issues between them, with the appellant having to pay the cost of the suit”.

However, the terms of the settlement agreement were not made privy to the court.

Mohammed, represented by Thabani Mpofu, claimed during the civil trial at the High Court that Bredenkamp reportedly borrowed the money to support the government’s troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo over a decade ago.

He said that he decided to take the legal route after Bredenkamp failed to pay back the money borrowed sometime in 2002, despite making several promises to settle the debt.

The case had been previously a subject of fraud charges against Bredenkamp, who is well famed for his helicopter shuttles in Harare. He was acquitted leading to Mohammed filing a civil suit.

However, Bredenkamp filed a $350 000 counter claim alleging Mohammed maliciously caused his arrest and prosecution on fraud charges.

But High Court judge Priscillah Chigumba ruled in Mohammed’s favour.

In her judgment, Chigumba said Bredenkamp’s version of his arrest and incarceration was sketchy and garbled.

“We find that the report made to police by plaintiff (Mohammed) was not fake, as in based on false information. We find that the plaintiff did not do anything more than what is required to cause a perceived perpetrator of a crime to be brought to book,” she said.

“The claim in reconvention must fail because it is this court’s view that the evidence does not support the assertion that the plaintiff caused the prosecution of the defendant without reasonable or probable cause.”

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