INTERNATIONAL COMPANY SUING LOCAL BUSINESS OVER UNPAID BILL
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