Home » Judicial » Fresh Trial for Caps Boss Mutanda

CAPS Holdings chairman and FCA Motors owner Fredrick Mutanda faces a new trial on fraud charges involving US$26 million after the Constitutional Court quashed the proceedings that have been stalled pending the outcome of his application challenging the legality of his prosecution.

Mutanda and his alleged accomplice Justin Majaka, were accused of illegally exporting CAPS Pharmaceuticals intellectual property rights to CAPS International, Johannesburg.

The trial was stopped after Mutanda approached the apex court challenging the Prosecutor General’s office over the constitutionality of his prosecution on the fraud charges, he claimed were defective.

This was after the trial magistrate rejected his application for an exception to the charges.

Yesterday the full bench of the Constitutional Court quashed the proceedings in the matter and ordered a fresh trial before a different magistrate.

The prosecution led by law officer Ms Sharon Fero, had conceded that the trial court made a wrong decision in denying Mutanda the right to approach the Constitutional Court for recourse on constitutional issues he raised.

She then urged the court to order a fresh trial and the nine-judge panel unanimously agreed.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku then dismissed the relief sought by Mutanda for permanent stay of the proceedings but ordered a fresh trial.

“Proceedings in case . . . CRB 172-32012 are hereby quashed and a trial de novo is ordered before a different regional magistrate,” said Chief Justice Chidyausiku.

He said the full reasons of the judgment would be made available in due course.

Aocate Thabani Mpofu who acted for Mutanda argued that his client’s right to a fair trial within a reasonable time frame was violated.

He also said the trial magistrate also violated Mutanda’s rights when he rejected his request for the case to be referred to the Constitutional Court. The law allows individuals to approach the Constitutional Court directly.

Charges against Mutanda arose sometime in August 2011, when he allegedly instructed Majaka to make an application to the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe for a change of principal for 50 drug formulae from CAPS Rallies, Harare to CAPS International, Johannesburg.

In October the same year, MCAZ registered the 50 dossiers with CAPS International South Africa as the new principal and owners resulting in ownership of the drug formulae shifting from Zimbabwe to South Africa.

This saw CAPS importing those drugs, which resulted in the firm being prejudiced of the more than US$26 million.

Source : The Herald