PRINCESS LUNGILE DEMANDS E10M FROM LAWYER, GUDUZA, KHANDLELA

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PRINCESS LUNGILE DEMANDS E10M FROM LAWYER, GUDUZA, KHANDLELA
PRINCESS LUNGILE DEMANDS E10M FROM LAWYER, GUDUZA, KHANDLELA

Africa-Press – Eswatini. Princess Lungile is demanding E10 million from her lawyer, Mlungisi Khumalo, which she allegedly gave to him for the e-visa project.

Other respondents are Prince Guduza and Protocol Officer Khandlela Mdluli. The princess, who was married to the late businessman and football administrator, Victor Gamedze, wants the respondents to pay back the money. She alleged to have given the money to Khumalo, who told her that it was required to finance a business tender that Crypto Technology (PTY) Limited had secured, to set up an e-visa platform valued at E263 000 000. In the court papers, Mdluli, who is employed at the King’s Office as the Protocol Officer and Prince Guduza, have been cited in their capacity as directors of Crypto Technology (PTY) Limited. Other defendants in the matter are the company, Crypto Technology and the Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP).

An e-visa is issued and recorded electronically and one does not need a visa label (sticker) in his passport. This e-visa tender once caused controversy in Parliament, after the manner in which it was awarded was put under scrutiny by parliamentarians. In her particulars of claim, Princess Lungile submitted that, at all material times, Khumalo, who is the first defendant in the matter, was her attorney and legal advisor. She submitted that, because of this special relationship between her and Khumalo, she relied on his advice and guidance in business matters, as well as her personal affairs.

The plaintiff (Princess Lungile) narrated to the court that in November 2020, Khumalo made a verbal loan request in the sum of E10 million. According to the princess, when Khumalo allegedly made the loan request, he purportedly claimed to have been making same on behalf of Crypto Technology (PTY) Limited. She highlighted that when the verbal agreement application was first discussed, they were at her residence in Mbabane. Princess Lungile told the court that in most of the subsequent engagements on this matter, they were in Mbabane.

Stakeholders

The plaintiff informed the court that at all material times, Khumalo held himself out as one of the shareholders of the company, in one way or the other. “In motivating the loan application, the first defendant informed the plaintiff that the amount of money was required to finance a business tender that the second defendant (Crypto Technology (PTY) Limited) had secured to set up an e-visa platform for the Government of Eswatini, a project which he said was valued at E263 000 000,” submitted Princess Lungile.She further contended that Khumalo personally made the loan application. Princess Lungile said Khumalo prevailed upon her to grant the loan of E10 million, even though no security was provided. “A written loan agreement was entered into between the plaintiff and the second defendant (the company). It was executed on November 25, 2020 in Mbabane. “One Sabelo Masuku signed the agreement on behalf of the second defendant and the plaintiff signed in her own capacity,” submitted the princess.

She averred that the loan amount was disbursed solely on Khumalo’s instruction, on different dates. She also argued that in respect of all the transactions, she exclusively dealt with Khumalo and the money was sourced from Mfana Trust, which was held and controlled by her. The plaintiff alleged that in terms of the written loan agreement, the money was to be paid with interest on or before April 30, 2021. Princess Lungile stated that on April 28, 2023, she issued a letter of demand to the company and despite several demands, no payment was forthcoming. She said she would not have acceded to the unsecured loan request if it was not for Khumalo’s restless pressure and influence upon her.

Liable

She said she did so to her prejudice and loss. In the combined summons, the princess argued that Khumalo was liable to compensate her for the damages and loss occasioned by the company’s failure to repay the loan with interest. In her alternative claim against Khumalo, the princes said in November 2020, Khumalo represented to her that the company had been awarded an e-visa tender by the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini. These are allegations contained in particulars of claim, whose veracity is still to be tested in court.

“When making the representation, the first defendant knew it to be false, as no such tender had been awarded to the company as at that time. When the first defendant made the representation, he intended the plaintiff to act on it and grant him and the company an unsecured loan of E10 million and make her believe that it could easily pay the loan,” reads part of the summons. She also argued that, through the misrepresentation, she was induced to grant the company the unsecured loan, whereas if she knew the correct position, she would not have done so to her prejudice.

Princess Lungile averred that in the execution of the alleged fraudulent intention, Khumalo was the only person she dealt with, and he purported to be representing the company at all material times. The princess alleged that Khumalo instructed her to deposit directly to his personal account certain large sums. She alleged that as a direct result and consequence of Khumalo’s alleged misrepresentation, she incurred a loss in the sum of E9 999 999.28, being the amount she disbursed on Khumalo’s instruction. The matter is still pending in court and the defendants are yet to file their papers, in the event they are disputing the claim against them.

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