A BULAWAYO man, once certified dead, only to rise from the morgue in 2004, is now suing his former employers for $73 million in salary arrears and other benefits dating back to that period.
By NQOBILE BHEBHE/RICHARD MUPONDE
Nkululeko Mabhena, employed as a marketing director at PG Industries, on Monday filed 185 pieces of evidence at the High Court in Bulawayo justifying why the company had to pay him that much.
Through his lawyer Sindiso Mazibisa of Cheda and Partners, Mabhena lodged a discovery affidavit outlining his evidence to prove that PG Industries owed him the money and challenged them to a hearing in the court.
In his notice of filing, Mabhena also refused to release some privileged documents to PG Industries, which he felt could be used to jeopardise his case.
“I am the plaintiff in this matter and it is in that capacity that I depose hereto,” Mabhena said. “I have in my possession or power, documents relating to the matters in question in this suit set forth in the first and second parts of the first schedule hereto.
“I object to produce the said documents set forth in the second part of the said first schedule hereto on the grounds that the said documents are privileged.”
PG Industries is yet to file its papers in response and its lawyers, Calderwood Bryce and Hendrie, were served with on May 28.
Mabhena was reinstated to his position as marketing director by Bulawayo judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha last year with effect from February 28 2009.
His initial claim of $53 million in backpay was dismissed by Justice Kamocha. However, after being reinstated, Mabhena is now arguing that the company has not been paying him his dues in tandem with the position he occupies, resulting in him filing the lawsuit against PG Industries under case number HC3432/12.
PG Industries (Zimbabwe) Limited, PG Zimboard Products (Pvt) Limited, PG Industries (Zimbabwe) Ltd chief executive officers and Manica Boards and Doors (Pvt) Ltd were cited as first, second, third and fourth respondents, respectively.
Mabhena wants his money to be calculated from the time the court reinstated him in 2009 to date and also for the company to disclose benefits and packages of directors, including housing benefits and vehicles, among others.
A doctor certified Mabhena dead in 2004, but he later regained consciousness when he had been placed in a morgue.