The ruling of the South African High Court over the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) liquidation process will not halt the process currently going in the country, the Zambian government has said.
This is because foreign court judgments are not binding in Zambia, especially in the absence of a reciprocal enforcement agreement protocol.
The South African High Court this morning granted Vedanta Resources an urgent interim interdict against Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) minority shareholder, ZCCM Investment Holdings Plc.
However, the Zambian government has said the Gauteng High Court or any court in South Africa has no power or jurisdiction over Zambian courts.
Mines minister Richard Musukwa, who addressed the media at State House in the company of justice minister Given Lubinda and Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, said state lawyers had been advised to appeal the matter.
He said the ruling by the South African court had no bearing at the moment because it was not registered in Zambia.
Musukwa further said Kalaluka would travel to South Africa to join the appeal to protect the integrity of Zambian courts.
And a legal expert explained that an attempt to enforce such judgment requires that an application to register it in Zambia is commenced in the High Court.
“It for this reason that in their statement to the Media, Vedanta has directed that the Judgment should not be circulated in Zambia as this will be tantamount to contempt of the on-going court process in Zambia,” the legal expert said.
The Zambian Government would then be expected to challenge such registration, given that local processes are also underway.
“Zambians will remember the case of Second President, Dr. Frederick Chiluba where the London High Court passed a judgment against him but such a judgment remained academic as the Zambia courts rejected its registration and it was not enforced in Zambia or world-wide,” he said.
In short, the judgment may not have any impact on the Zambian setup.
For a foreign judgment to bind on Zambia, the countries have to sign a reciprocal agreement protocol which does not exist between South Africa and Zambia.
In May, 2019, ZCCM Investment Holdings PLC asked the Lusaka High Court to grant them an order to appoint Milingo Lungu of Messrs Lungu Simwanza and Company as provisional liquidator of Konkola Copper Mines PLC.
This was according to an application for ex parte order appointing a provisional liquidator filed in the High Court on May 21, 2019.
Vedanta Resources Ltd on July 3, 2019 obtained an ex parte order in the High Court of South Africa granting it leave to institute an urgent interim interdict application against ZCCM-IH Plc and Milingo Lungu in his capacity as Provisional liquidator of the KCM.
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