Man 'defrauds' HCC of $1,5m

HARARE - A Harare man was yesterday hauled before the courts for allegedly defrauding the Harare City Council (HCC) of $1,5 million dollars in a property development deal gone wrong.

Michael van Blerk, who is the director of Sunshine Development, allegedly misrepresented to NMB Bank that he had board resolution to acquire a $1,5 million mortgage bond to fund the Mbudzi Project.

Van Blerk allegedly failed to service the mortgage bond resulting in the land being transferred to the bank.

Van Blerk appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa facing a charge of fraud. Mugwagwa denied him bail and remanded the matter to December 4.

Allegations against Van Blerk are that on June 22, 2007 the City of Harare and Augur Investments entered into an agreement of understanding for the development of Hopley Commercial Area, development of middle housing and construction of a hotel at Marlbereign Golf course and Mukuvisi Phase 1. Van Blerk then acquired a mortgage bond to fund the project which he allegedly failed to service.

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