THE High Court has ordered a Bulawayo woman who allegedly defrauded musician Mrs Sandra Ndebele-Sibindi of nearly $100 000 in a suspected illegal money changing deal that went sour, to pay back the money.
Simanga Gwemende of Emganwini suburb allegedly connived with two other women and swindled Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi of $100 000 bond notes before alleging that she lost the money to three suspects — two men and a woman.
She claimed that the three had offered her a lift from Beitbridge to Bulawayo only to speed off without her after they had taken a recess in Colleen Bawn.
Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi gave Gwemende the bond notes so that she could source US$55 923 from the parallel market. Gwemende only remitted US$2 900.
The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Makonese follows a chamber application for default judgment by Ms Ndebele-Sibindi, who was a self-actor, citing Ms Gwemende as the defendant.
“It is ordered that the defendant pay the sum of US$53 023 to the plaintiff as claimed in the summons,” ruled the judge.
He also ordered Gwemende to pay the money with a five percent interest calculated from October 18, 2018 to the date of full and final payment including the legal costs incurred by Ms Ndebele-Sibindi.
In papers before the court, Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi said on October 12 this year, she approached Gwemende who offered to assist her change her bond notes into United States dollars.
“On October 12, 2018 and at the defendant’s request and instance, I advanced the defendant the sum of $100 000 bond notes to purchase US$55 923 and defendant only remitted US$2 900. On 18 October, the defendant agreed to pay US$1 000 daily and signed an affidavit,” she said.
Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi said despite demand, Gwemende has failed and neglected to repay the money.
Gwemende was served with summons on November 6 and she failed to respond within the stipulated period resulting in Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi applying for a default judgment.
Gwemende’s accomplice, Lindiwe Moyo, has since appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Adelaide Mbeure charged with fraud. She was remanded out of custody to December 14 on $300 bail.
Gwemende allegedly ganged up with Moyo and one Amanda Onwuchukwu and hatched a plan to defraud Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi of her money.
They misrepresented to Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi that they were in a position to source foreign currency for her and she gave them $100 000.
It was not mentioned in court papers how the accused person and her accomplices intended to source the foreign currency.
It is however, a punishable criminal offence to illegally deal in foreign currency.
Upon being given the money, Gwemende and her accomplices failed to source the foreign currency and hatched a plan to file a false report at West Nicholson Police Station purporting to have lost Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi’s money to robbers.
Gwemende alleged that she lost the money while bringing it back to Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi who wanted it.
She said she lost the cash after people who had offered her a lift from Beitbridge sped off leaving her behind in Colleen Bawn.
The report was later proved to be false and the matter was reported to the police.
Source: The Chronicle