BY CHARLES LAITON
Concerted efforts by business mogul, John Arnold Bredenkamp to stop the auctioning of his private jet over a US$205 000 debt, recently went up in smoke after High Court judge president Justice George Chiweshe threw out an ownership claim by Longhorn Limited which sought to bar the Sheriff of the High Court from selling the plane.
According to the court papers, Bredenkamp borrowed US$3,8 million from his business friend, Yaqub Mahomed, for the purposes of recapitalising his mining business in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but failed to pay the debt in full. This resulted in a protracted legal battle and judgment was then entered in favour of Mahomed for US$3,8 million plus interest, but the debt was then reduced to US$205 602 after taxation.
Through his lawyers, Mahomed instructed the Sheriff of the High Court to attach Bredenkamp’s private jet. On May 31 last year, the sheriff attached the plane and its removal was set for June 5, 2018.
Following this development, Bredenkamp’s lawyers filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court to stop the removal pending determination of a review application.
But, High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou dismissed the application, a development that resulted in Mahomed instructing the sheriff to proceed with the removal of the plane.
However, not to be outdone by the unfolding events, Longhorn Limited came into the picture and claimed that the plane did not belong to Bredenkamp, but rather it had been leased to him by an American company.
The new development then caused the matter to be taken before Justice Chiweshe who lambasted Bredenkamp for his antics with a view to frustrate the execution of a court order.
“On a balance of probabilities, all indications points in one direction, that the judgment debtor (Bredenkamp) is the owner of the aircraft. In his attempt to evade execution in satisfaction of a judgment of this court, the judgment debtor has colluded with the claimant (Longhorn Limited) to file a non-existent claim. In fact, as the claimant is not the owner there is no valid claim before this court,” Justice Chiweshe said.
“I agree with the judgment creditor (Mahomed) that an order for cost on the higher scale is justified in this case.”