(08 January 2020)
The applicant was employed by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (“ZCDC”) as an Acting Supervisor. In December 2018 he was arraigned before the magistrate’s court (“the court a quo”) on a charge of contravening s 8(1)(a), as read with s 8(6), of the Act. It was alleged that between July 2018 and December 2018 the applicant stole diamonds and sold them to unknown dealers. He deposited the proceeds of the sale into his “Ecocash account”.
In May 2019 the applicant raised questions on the constitutionality of s 8(6) of the Act. He requested the trial magistrate to refer the questions to the Court for determination in terms of s 175(4) of the Constitution. The applicant alleged that s 8(6) of the Act did not define the term “some kind of criminal activity”. He said the section “relieved the State of the obligation to establish what the offence is, how it was committed and by whom”. It was the applicant’s contention that s 8(6) of the Act infringes on his fundamental rights and was therefore invalid.