The High Court Commercial Division has adjourned to May 9 2016 the case in which minority shareholders dragged to court Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited and its 11 directors over financial matters.
Hearing of the case was set to start on Tuesday before Judge John Katsala, but the matter was deferred following fresh applications filed by the two parties.
The Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed sugar company and its directors were taken to court by Prudential Holdings Limited, a holding company representing some minority shareholders, over claims of falsifying the company’s financial statements and withholding information from them.
Lawyer Davis Njobvu of Savjani & Co, who are representing Prudential Holdings Limited, confirmed in an interview yesterday that the matter has been adjourned.
Court documents we have seen show that on May 9, the court will hear an inter-partes application for an order for defendants to produce documents in their possession, custody or power for inspection by the plaintiff and its lawyers to “peruse the same and to take copies thereof”.
The court is also scheduled to hear an application by the defendants to have the matter commence by way of writ of summons and not originating summons.
Both, writ of summons and originating summons, are modes of commencing proceedings before the court, but the difference is that the latter comes when a party is seeking declarations from the court or else when there are no disputes between the parties while writ of summons is when there are there disputes in terms of the facts.
According to Civil Case Number 33 of 2016 filed on February 9 2016, Prudential Holdings Limited also claims that Illovo Sugar was making payments to “undisclosed related parties” and unexplained payments to Illovo Sugar in South Africa and its parent company, Associated British Foods, in the United Kingdom. n