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By Sheillah Mapani
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Highlands, Harare, has been hauled before the Harare Civil Court by a Bulawayo woman for allegedly failing to pay a balance of $32 000 as compensation for her son’s death.
The matter was brought before Harare Civil Court magistrate Mr Brighton Pabwe, but was deferred to May 3. It is alleged that on November 20, 2015, Winnie Mpofu and the church, represented by Shawn Boshoff as legal counsel, entered into an agreement in which the church undertook to pay the sum of $50 000 as compensation for the death of her son.
The court heard that earlier that year on May 22, Elder Brandon Cornelius, who is a church member, accidentally struck Daniel Mabhena while driving. Mpofu told the court that the church contacted the family representatives and offered to support and provide any assistance needed by the family in a show of good faith.
As a result, the court heard, the parties entered into an agreement to put in writing details pertaining to the settlement of all disputes. According to the agreement, disputes referred to “all past, present and future known and unknown disputes, including all claims, liabilities, damages, injuries, suits and proceeding arising out of the accident”.
In terms of Clause 2.2.1 of the agreement, the full amount of the payment should have been paid by February 15 last year. Mpofu further told the court that the church had so far paid the sum of $18 000, leaving an outstanding balance of $32 000, which is now long overdue. She further alleged that despite a series of demands she made, the church neglected to pay.