Debswana loses P38m appeal


Debswana Diamond Company has lost the multi-million pula appeal against Liftoff Investments.

On Friday, the Court of Appeal (CoA) ordered the diamond mining company to pay Liftoff Investments P38,511,246.89 following a contractual dispute between the two. Debswana had contracted the company for the construction of new tailings Leg-golf at Plant Two in Orapa in 2020. However, a dispute arose between the two parties concerning the grasshopper and shuttle conveyor facilities. Liftoff Investments was later awarded to be paid following an adjudication process by a sole adjudication board member. A CoA bench made up of Justices Singh Walia, Isaac Lesetedi and GoemekgaboTebogo-Maruping ruled in favour of Liftoff Investments and ordered it be paid P38,511,246.89 plus 3.7 percent interest on the awarded amount. Debswana had wanted the court to stay the judgment of the High Court pending the appointment of the arbitrator.

However, the Justices dismissed Debswana's case with costs stating that there was no point in interfering with the judgment of the court a quo. The CoA has given Debswana 30 days to have paid the money. It said that the contractual imperatives relating to the resolution of the dispute between the two parties were found wanting. "In this case, the exceptional are glaringly obvious. The DAB award was made on January 20, 2023. There was no arbitrator in place. Almost a year and a half later, no arbitrator has been agreed upon, nor is there an application for appointment of one. Add to this the inevitable delays likely to arise from application for appointment if it becomes necessary, having to be made in South Africa in terms of the amended FIDIC conditions of contract," read the judgment in part. "Such delays serve to defeat the very same purpose of prompt payment dictated by contract," it added.

Editor's Comment
Women in Politics caucus NGO, a welcome development

In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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