Justice Leicester Adams of the Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg, of the High Court of South Africa has today denied ZCCM leave to appeal his judgement of 23rd July 2019, dismissing ZCCM’s application with costs.
The Johannesburg Court is recognised as a Court in the context of the International Arbitration Act. ZCCM’s application for leave to appeal was in the main against Justice Adams’ finding that the South Gauteng High Court has jurisdiction based on the arbitration clause in the KCM Shareholders Agreement, and that the KCM winding-up application instituted by ZCCM in Zambia amounted to a breach of the KCM Shareholders Agreement.
In his judgement, Justice Adams noted that his central reasons for refusing leave to appeal were that ZCCM raised nothing new in their application that had not already been dealt with in the initial judgement and that leave to appeal can only be granted when the judge is of the opinion that the appeal would have a reasonable prospect of success.
In Justice Adams’ view “there are no reasonable prospects of another court coming to different conclusions, be they on aspects of facts or law, to the ones reached by him.
Vedanta had argued that the original judgement of 23rd July 2019 should stand, both because the Court Order was interim in both form and effect and because the Court was properly empowered under the UN CITRAL Model Law to grant the Order.
It was and remains Vedanta’s view that the dispute with ZCCM has to be resolved through arbitration – as envisaged by the KCM Shareholders Agreement.
Vedanta served its notice of arbitration on ZCCM on 31st July 2019 and remains committed to engaging with the Government of Zambia in order to find an amicable solution.