BPC wades into court evidence controversy

Documentary evidence is likely to swing the case one way or the other in a matter in which Re-sealing is demanding outstanding payment for work done for Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).

BPC wades into court evidence controversy

The matter began on 22 December 2016 when Re-sealing instituted legal proceedings to compel BPC to pay. In papers before court, Re-sealing says it concluded an agreement with BPC in terms of which the company would provide maintenance and other services to BPC.

According to court documents, Re-sealing carried out its obligations in terms of the agreement. However, according to Re-sealing, BPC subsequently breached the agreement by failing to pay what was due to the company. In the result, according to the company, BPC is indebted to Resealing to the tune of P264, 611.10, the maintenance company claims. BPC denies this and has submitted what it calls "authorisation for contractor payment" as proof of payment.

Through its lawyers, Minchin & Kelly, BPC has filed three documents as proof of payment for works done by Re-sealing in terms of the agreement between the two parties. The documents reflect payment of P57, 640.60, P13, 736.80 and P145. 082 apparently at different times.

However, an examination of these documents shows that only the one bearing the amount of P57, 640.60 was signed by BPC's Manager - Property Services and counter-signed by the utility's Financial Controller. It carries the date of 25 January 2017 and was for a maintenance contract for BPC buildings in Gaborone. Documents seen by this publication also reflect payment for this work in Re-sealing's bank statement of 30 January 2017.

The other two documents that also purport to prove payment are not similarly signed and bear no dates. And did not reflect on Re-sealing bank accounts at any point even though BPC alleges it had paid.

The case continues, but it has already had its fair share of controversy. After first creating a lie, a Minchin & Kelly lawyer assigned to the case seeminly found that one about-face was not enough to wriggle out of his failure to appear in court for his firm's corporate client.
The lawyer then tried to cover up for this blunder by claiming that he had not been notified of court dates and had therefore proceeded to attend to other court matters elsewhere. After being caught out in his series of lies, the lawyer was fired to save the law firm’s reputation.