Patel to testify on pension money
Johannesburg - Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel
has been served with a summons to testify in the liquidation inquiry into the
Canyon Springs Investments 12 company.
The company received a loan of more than R80m from the
Trilinear Empowerment Trust (TET), in which the monies of five clothing
workers' retirement funds had been invested, said Tony Canny, a forensic
investigator of the Eversheds legal firm. He was appointed by the Sactwu trade
About R420m of clothing workers’ retirement funds was
invested in TET during the period that Patel was general secretary of Sactwu.
Barnabas Xulu of Xulu Liversage Incorporated - the legal
representatives for the TET trustees - which submitted the application for
liquidation on behalf of Canyon Springs, apparently insisted that Patel also
A summons to testify was apparently also served on Wayne van
der Rheede, deputy general secretary of Sactwu, who was allegedly suspended
because of the TET saga.
Economic Development Deputy Minister Enoch Godongwana and
his wife, Thandiwe, have already testified. They are current shareholders in
Canyon Springs through a family company, Tyalibongo. Their evidence has not
been completed and the media is prohibited from reporting on it.
Until he became a minister Godongwana was also a director of
Canyon Springs and a director of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pan African
Benefit Services (PABS).
Mohan Patel, a director of Canyon and PABS, and a former
chief executive, was last week asked by Advocate Gavin Woodland, who is leading
the interrogation, whether Godongwana should have known that the money had come
from the clothing workers' retirement funds. Patel (who has no connection to
the minister) said that to him it had been self-evident.
Godongwana has so far denied any knowledge about it.
Patel alleged that Richard Kawie, also well known in
clothing trade union circles, had actually pulled the strings at Canyon Springs
and decided where the company should invest.
Patel and others had been recruited by Kawie to work for
Canyon. He said he had not found it strange that Kawie had taken decisions
because Kawie had claimed to have a mandate from the ANC and Cosatu to
establish Canyon Springs.
Patel also said that was why he had not thought it strange
that Canyon Springs had received an unconditional loan without a signed
On Monday Kawie will have the opportunity to put his side of
the story to the commissioner.
Companies belonging to Kawie allegedly also received money
from Pinnacle Point - which is now also in provisional liquidation and to which
R260m of TET’s money went.
Another important witness is Sam Buthelezi of the Trilinear
group of companies.
One of the Trilinear subsidiaries had been responsible for
managing TET’s financial assets.
It was submitted into evidence that another subsidiary,
Trilinear Specialised Finance, had earned millions in commission from money
coming from TET following various transactions. This included about R25m (or
around 30%) of the money lent to Canyon Springs, said Canny.
Fourteen files containing information have so far been put
together by Canny and his investigative team for use in the inquiry.
At the end of September Sake24 questioned Minister Patel on
TET, enquiring whether he had any knowledge of the retirement money that had
been in the trust, and the investments made with it. These questions remain
For more business news in Afrikaans, go to Sake24.com.