IN­TER­NA­TIONAL COM­PANY SU­ING LO­CAL BUSI­NESS OVER UN­PAID BILL

The Witness - - NEWS - SHARIKA REGCHAND

ZOOM, an in­ter­na­tional cloth­ing and footwear com­pany, is claim­ing $353 516 from a Ham­mars­dale shoe busi­ness, Ihlobo, for un­paid raw ma­te­ri­als it sup­plied.

How­ever, the lo­cal com­pany de­nies li­a­bil­ity and claims that an­other com­pany, Uni­ver­sal Footwear, is li­able for the bill.

The mat­ter came be­fore the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg high court yes­ter­day and Ihlobo was granted per­mis­sion to in­form Uni­ver­sal that it is or may be li­able to ful­fil the claim.

Ac­cord­ing to the court pa­pers filed on be­half of Zoom, which is based in Eng­land, in Novem­ber 2015, Zoom, rep­re­sented by Philippe Has­son, and Ihlobo, by Shaun and Neville Chetty, con­cluded an oral agree­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to it, Zoom would sell raw ma­te­rial com­po­nents for footwear and Ihlobo would use them to man­u­fac­ture footwear prod­ucts. Ihlobo was sup­posed to make pay­ment within 30 days of re­ceiv­ing a state­ment. It would then sell and de­liver the prod­ucts to Uni­ver­sal, for which Ihlobo was sup­posed to sep­a­rately in­voice Uni­ver­sal.

From April 2016 to Oc­to­ber 2017, Ihlobo bought the ma­te­ri­als from Zoom, ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment.

The claim added that in June 2016, Ihlobo paid Zoom $141 885.

The lo­cal com­pany failed to make fur­ther pay­ment. As a re­sult of this fail­ure, ma­te­rial bought by Ihlobo to the value of $256 787 was re­turned. Zoom gave Ihlobo a credit note.

It is al­leged in the pa­pers that de­spite de­mand, Ihlobo failed to make pay­ment.

In re­ply, Ihlobo said that at all times it was con­tracted with Uni­ver­sal, to man­u­fac­ture and sup­ply footwear. This com­pany “specif­i­cally” re­quested that Ihlobo use ma­te­ri­als sup­plied by Zoom to man­u­fac­ture the footwear prod­ucts.

In plac­ing orders with Ihlobo, Uni­ver­sal or­dered the ma­te­ri­als for man­u­fac­tur­ing the footwear di­rectly from Zoom for de­liv­ery to Ihlobo. Thus, Uni­ver­sal was li­able for pay­ment, the lo­cal com­pany ar­gued.

When in­voic­ing Uni­ver­sal, Ihlobo only charged for labour and not the ma­te­ri­als sup­plied by Zoom.

The case has not yet been set down for hear­ing. • [email protected]­ness.co.za

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