Tati Company Limited is facing forgery charges after a farmer accused the company of forging documents for a civil case involving his eviction from its estates in Francistown.
The allegations of forgery arise from a case in which Tati Company Limited through its lawyers, S. Thapelo Attorneys had applied for a court order to have Gladstone Matumo and persons claiming through him to be evicted from its property.
The property is called Western Portion of Lady Mary and Sam Estates.
At the centre of the forgery allegations against Tati Company Limited are eviction court orders dated 5th May 2008 and 3rd March 2008. Matumo insists that the High Court delivered a default judgement in favour of Tati Company Limited and issued an eviction order on 5th May 2008 instead of the one dated 3rd March 2008 as claimed by Tati Company Limited.
Matumo who approached the Court of Appeal after the default judgement was delivered by the High Court believes that the highest court in the land would have arrived at a different decision if it was aware that the eviction court order dated 3rd March 2008 was a forged document.
Dismissing and describing the eviction order dated 3rd March 2008 as a forgery, Matumo recently approached the High Court inviting it to interrogate the manner in which eviction court order dated 3rd March 2016 found its way not only in the High Court but also in the Court of Appeal.
Tati Company Limited is cited as the First Respondent while its lawyers S. Thapelo Attorneys are cited as Second Respondent. The Registrar of the High Court who is not named and Deputy Sheriff Augustine Mokalake are cited as Third and Fourth Respondent.
Matumo also wants the High Court to establish if the 3rd March Eviction Court order found its origin from S. Thapelo Attorneys or Mokalake.
He also wants the High Court to establish the intention of the person who tendered the 3rd March eviction order to court when such a document did not form part of the High Court record in the first place.
Matumo argues that his inquiry is not farfetched as it stems from the inquiry of the undisputed fact of the already existence in the High Court record of the authentic document (eviction order date 5th May 2008) filed by S. Thapelo Attorneys in its capacity as the then legal representatives of Tati Company Limited.
He also invites the High Court to establish the true objective of replacing the authentic document (eviction order dated 5th May 2008) with a mysterious document (eviction order dated 3rd March 2008) and “the latter which emerged in the High Court record under a rather dubious circumstances.”
He said the second document (eviction order dated 3rd March 2008) “seems to have gone through a poor craftsmanship cloning process.” He called on the Court to establish if S. Thapelo Attorneys or its in house Deputy Sheriff Mokalake “could be the culprit of this act of criminality.”
According to Matumo, in 2009 he had a meeting with a certain Dinokopila who was then a professional legal assistance from Boko & Company Attorneys on an appeal matter against Tati Company Limited.
He said after a perusal of the Court of Appeal records which were in Dinokopila’s possession, which never formed part of the High Court record up to the time of his appeal, Dinokopila’s informed him that eviction court order dated 3rd March 2008 “was also strange to him and that he did not realise that it was not the same document which was initially on record.”
“He also assured me that to the best of his knowledge of the said document did not originate from his employer, Boko & Company Attorneys,” said Matumo.
Matumo said on 29th January 2010 the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour and held that he was served on the 5th May 2008 and not o the 3rd of March 2008 as was maintained by Tati Company Limited on the basis of the eviction court order dated 5th May 2008.
The Court of Appeal confirmed that indeed the document never formed part of the High Court record, he said.
He said there is no way the Registrar of the High Court can claim ignorance on a document that is received in his or her office. Therefore Matumo said the Registrar has knowledge as to when the document was filed and by who and for what purpose.
“The more I look at it the more I realise that the four Respondents embarked upon a collusion scheme to have the document(annexure GBM 2) sneaked into the High Court record unlawfully to deal my case a fatal blow. If they maintain that it is not, I invite them to come and vindicate themselves for the good of the country,” said Matumo.
Replying, Tati Company Limited General Manager Ogaisitse Khama denied every allegation of fraud, forgery and criminality by either his company or S.Thapelo Attorneys.
He also denied that the Court eviction order dated 3rd day of March 2008 did not form part of the High Court Record in the main eviction case against Matumo up to the time of appeal.
“The document in question was always part of the record and was the basis upon which a default judgement was entered against the applicant (Matumo) in this case,” states Khama.
He further stated that “there was no sneaking in of any document into the record. All documents which formed part of the record were properly received at the High Court registry.”