An Indian-origin businessman’s dreams of making millions from a sugar import deal were shattered after it turned sour following a ruling against him by a South African court. Mohamed Amien Mukadam had struck a deal in 2014 to supply 50,000 tonnes of white sugar to Pearl Island company, a supplier to one of South Africa’s biggest supermarket chains Shoprite Checkers.
But by the time of the first delivery towards the end of 2016, import duty on sugar had been drastically cut from South African rands 2,395 to just 319 rands a ton, with middleman company Pearl Island demanding that Mukadam amend the price accordingly, South African weekly Sunday Times reported.
Mukadam’s refusal to supply the product at the lower rate led to a lengthy legal battle which ended in the High Court in Cape Town this week when his case was dismissed with costs. Mukadam had sued both Pearl Island and Shoprite Checkers as he believed the latter was liable for accepting the shipment, citing the fact that Pearl Island was dependent on the supermarket group as it did not have such huge resources of its own, the report said.
But Pearl Island proved that Mukadam was obliged to reduce the price in terms of the contractual obligations in the original contract. Mukadam said through his lawyers that they would appeal the judgement, but refused to comment any further.