Cape Town – About R92m of clothing workers' retirement money
that was lent to the liquidated Canyon Springs company is apparently
Advocate Gavin Woodland, who is leading an investigation
into the affairs of Canyon Springs on behalf of the clothing workers’ union,
Sactwu, said his client accepts that almost the entire clothing workers' R470m
retirement fund placed in the Trilinear Empowerment Trust (TET) could be lost.
Canyon Springs was only one of the companies to which the
money went. Its debt, together with interest, amounts to R141m.
Woodland said the investigators had found that R25m (27%) of
the R92m had gone to the Trilinear Specialised Finance (TSF) company as
commission on the deal. He regards this money as probably irrecoverable.
TSF is part of the Trilinear group of companies belonging to
Sam Buthelezi, who was arrested last month and charged with fraud.
The charge relates to R13m that was transferred, via Canyon
Springs, to the company Leading Prospects and then to his family trust Pasima.
This was allegedly disguised as loans.
Another R9m or so went via Canyon Springs to Richard Kawie,
a fellow shareholder – according to Woodland for so-called consultation work.
Enoch Godongwana, former Deputy Minister of Economic
Development and a Canyon shareholder, said he had been unaware of the
commission paid to Buthelezi’s company or of the money Kawie had received.
He had been aware of what he had thought a genuine loan to
Leading Prospects. Only in April last year had he found out about the Pasima
trust when he was shown a document indicating that Leading Prospects had
advanced the money to Pasima.
Godongwana had described the transaction commission to
Buthelezi’s company as “excessive”.
Woodland said that Sactwu, too, did not regard Kawie’s
commission as legitimate. “It was false and had nothing to do with real
Another R25m-odd had gone to a Canyon wholly owned
subsidiary, Pan African Benefit Services, which is insolvent, said Woodland.
Pan African is the investment consultant to the retirement funds that put money
into TET. Last week Pan African employees testified that Canyon Springs’ name
had been disguised as Finco on the TET investment statements.
In 2010 Godongwana’s wife, Thandiwe, and Mohan Patel, a
co-shareholder and director, had still denied the relationship between Canyon
Springs, Pan African and the TET.
Godongwana said he believed Buthelezi and Kawie had together
established the TET. He claimed they had “misled” the union into thinking it
was a genuine empowerment trust.
Kawie allegedly presented himself as Sactwu’s national
retirement fund coordinator so that he could persuade retirement funds to
invest in the TET, but he had been merely a short-lived retirement fund
consultant for the union.
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