OUTA lays criminal charges against Ngubane | Fin24
 
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OUTA lays criminal charges against Ngubane

Jun 13 2017 16:53
Lameez Omarjee, Fin24

Johannesburg – A criminal complaint has been made against outgoing Eskom board chair Ben Ngubane, by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA).

Ngubane resigned as chair on Monday, the news came as a shock to the rest of the board, said spokesperson Khulani Qoma. Eskom will appoint a new chair at an annual general meeting next Friday, this is to be approved by Cabinet, Fin24 reported.

READ: Eskom board shocked by Ngubane’s resignation, expects new chair next week

Ngubane’s resignation was welcomed by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu). NUM called for the rest of the board to follow Ngubane's example and resign, for the good of the power utility.

Following reports, OUTA laid a criminal complaint which includes charges of fraud, forgery and contravention of provisions of the Companies Act. This is as a result of Ngubane and his wife failing to pay back R50m borrowed from state-owned company, Ithala Development Finance Corporation.

"We have obtained evidence to substantiate our claims and are confident of the strength of our case against Ngubane,” said Ted Blom, OUTA portfolio director for energy.

Ngubane and his wife Sheila are the sole shareholders and directors of the private company Huntrex 305. Huntrex 305 owns Zululand Quarries, Natal Sands and Hanis Investments.

“Zululand Quarries and Natal Sands had certain mining rights. In order to finance the purchase of these companies, Huntrex obtained a loan of R50m from Ithala Development Finance Corporation,” explained Blom.

“Huntrex defaulted on the loan repayments and was liquidated following an application by Ithala, its biggest creditor.”

Liquidators planned to sell Huntrex to Sandton Plant Hire for R15m, however the sale was cancelled when Ngubane produced share certificates showing that he and his wife were the sole owners of the businesses and ultimately owners of the mining rights of the businesses.

However, OUTA alleges these share certificates are fraudulent. “Based on the investigation and evidence obtained by OUTA, it is clear that the share certificates produced by Dr Ngubane were fraudulent as there are several blatant mistakes made on them,” said Blom.

“We trust that the police and the NPA will take up this matter with the urgency and sincerity it deserves.”

Liquidator Neil Button said that there was no evidence that the Ngubane’s had paid Huntrex for the shares. Huntrex still owns all the shares, which should benefit the creditors through a sale, Button explained in the affidavit. 

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