Malinga v Malinga [2017] SZHC 469 (18 April 2017)

Case summary

In this High Court case, the applicant had an agreement with the respondent aimed at selling a herd of cattle to the applicant. Based on this agreement, the respondent proceeded to take the herd of cattle presented in the contract without paying for them. An attempt to charge the respondent for theft through the police did not work as the police hesitated to prosecute the respondent because they contended that they would have a weak case. 

Then, the applicant decided to prosecute the case privately charging the respondent for spoliation.  The applicant demanded that the court should declare that the herd of cattle that were taken by the respondent, in fact belonged to him. 

Thus, the issue for determination by the court was to show cause why a declaration should not be made against the respondent to the effect that the herd of cattle be restored to the applicant.

On perusal of the given evidence, the High Court held that the respondent failed to show that the applicant allowed him to take the herd of cattle in dispute. Subsequently, the applicant was despoiled of the herd of cattle, that is, possession should be restored to the applicant. The respondent was also ordered to hand over to the applicant the progeny of the cattle forming the subject matter of the proceedings.

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