The Managing Director of Nina Properties, Barzoo Parastaran, a devout Bahai Faith member, was in the dock this week where he was quizzed for lying under oath.
Parastanan denied that he acted irresponsibly by listing Javenah Mahmoudi’s name as his business partner when applying for a piece of land to build a school on, without verifying that her name had been included when the company was registered.
Parastanan was being cross examined by Directorate of Public Prosecution Wesson Manchwe in a case in which he is facing charges of having lied under oath that Javenah was a Director of Nina Properties.
Parastaran said he listed Javenah as Director and shareholder of Nina Properties on trust that his company secretary MK Masalila had included her name when registering the company as he had instructed them.
Before the controversial application he made in Javenah’s name, he said he had made another application for a piece of land but it was rejected. When asked why he thought it had failed, he said he does not know as it happened eight years ago but did not rule out the possibility that it could have been because no citizen was listed in the application. Parastaran is American.
Giving evidence, he told the Court that he first met Javenah at a cultural meeting where they discussed plans to build a private school.
He said his company secretaries later asked him to bring the identification documents of his partner and that it was at that time that he learnt that Javenah had left for further studies in South Africa.
Final submissions on this matter will be on the 1st of June. Two other people are scheduled to appear in court in connection with this matter. They are former Gaborone City Council employee Mmoniemang Molapisi and former Department of Lands employee Rugaganisa. The case follows the Lesetedi Land Commission which was set up by President Festus Mogae to investigate reports of illegal land allocations in and around Gaborone.