The legal battle for ownership of Lahleni Golf Course drags on


The bitter legal battle involving a billionaire who was once accused of bribing the ANC Youth League to facilitate an Eskom contract and "company hijacking" is set to continue at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Joe Singh, the owner of Just Coal, has been engaged in a long-term court case with businessman Ralston Smith, for the ownership of Lahleni Lakes Golf Estate in Mpumalanga.

Smith, who first alleged in 2016 that Singh forged his signature and stole his companies, has appealed a recent ruling in favour of Singh by Gauteng North High Court Judge Ronel Tolmay.

Singh insists Smith exited the business on his own and should accept a settlement of R14m.

Smith denies he agreed to leave the business and alleges his signature was forged to process the takeover of his shares at Lahleni Lakes.

In 2017, Singh told the media he had donated R500,000 to the ANCYL  in exchange for assistance with his mining company's problems with Eskom.

The matter between Smith and Singh has been in and out of the courts for six years, and now Smith, in his appeal, argues that the court’s ruling is wrong and a higher court may come to a different conclusion.

He has rejected  the settlement, on the grounds that his share of the business was worth much more.

The matter will be heard at a date yet to be set.

“The learned judge, with respect, erred in finding as such and there are reasonable prospects that the proposed appeal will be successful and that it will be held that the suspensive conditions were not fulfilled,” reads Smith’s application.

Singh has notified the court of his intention to oppose the matter and is yet to file his response.

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