Legal Matters

Businessman Michael Van Blerk back in court for perjury

Michael Van Blerk poses for a photo with his master, Ken Sharpe

By Nyasha Mutena

The trial for controversial businessman and Pokugara Properties, West Properties sister company has recommenced as he is expected back in on the 22nd of September 2021.

The trial was supposed to start on Monday, the 13th of September before being postponed to the 22nd of September 2021 as some applications were supposed to be submitted beforehand.

Charges are that Van Blerk in his personal capacity as well as representing Pokugara Properties lied in an affidavit that a show house constructed by George Katsimberis was built without approved building plans by the City of Harare.

Katsimberis had built the show house as part of a joint venture with Kenneth Raydon Sharpe owner of Pokugara Properties who remains at large.

However, some few months ago, Van Blerk tried to buy time and stall his case after claiming that he was suffering from Catatonic seizures. So desperate was Van Blerk that he coerced Parirenyatwa group of hospitals psychiatrist, Dr Rachel Muzvidziwa to issue him with a medical affidavit without medical assessment.

The State, represented by Zivanai Macharaga had requested the accused to be examined by a State medical officer from two of Harare’s health institutions (Parirenyatwa or Harare Central Hospital).

However, after Dr Muzvidziwa’s findings that Van Blerk was fit to stand perjury and Malicious Damage to Property trial, she says she started to receive threats to separate herself from the businessman as she was dealing with the President’s person and office of the President employees.

Prior to this development, Dr Muzvidziwa says she had refused to do a medical affidavit for Van Blerk without the court’s request and opted to write him a letter instead, citing that Van Blerk was not fit to stand trial and he was under monitoring.

She says unidentified suspects visited Parirenyatwa Hospital (Annex Unit) and met Gambiza Nondunduzo, a nurse asking for Dr Muzvidziwa citing that they wanted to warn her against involving herself in Van Blerk’s case as he was “munhu waPresident”.