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Archive for the tag “Dropped”

RSA: Bell Potting terminated our work with Oakbay Capital (06.07.2017)

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RSA: Oakbay Website Attack on Minister Gordhan (21.01.2017)

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South Africa: Time to account for crippling the state (01.11.2016)

Mandela Quote

South African citizens across the land are speaking out and taking action to express their dissatisfaction. The Nelson Mandela Foundation supports the demand to hold to account those responsible for compromising our democratic state and looting its resources.

Twenty years since Nelson Mandela signed South Africa’s Constitution into law and as the third anniversary of his passing approaches, it is painful for us at the Nelson Mandela Foundation to bear witness to the wheels coming off the vehicle of our state.

We have seen a weakening of critical institutions such as the South African Revenue Service, the National Prosecuting Authority and law enforcement bodies due to political meddling for private interests.

We are reaping the results of a political trend of personalising matters of state around a single individual leader. This in a constitutional democracy is to be deplored.

The ability and commitment of the Head of State to be a ‘constitutional being’, is one of the wheels of our state. The unanimous judgment of the Constitutional Court of the Republic in the matter of President Zuma and the use of state resources on a private residence was one such test. It is increasingly a national consensus that he has failed the test.

As this particular wheel rolls away, other critical institutions of state break off to follow it. The legislative, business, and public service sectors of the country are severely affected, compromising the ability of the state to serve the people. A battle now rages to keep SARS attached to the vehicle of state. What public discourse has described as ‘state capture’ by private and political interests is, we believe, a real threat to the Republic.

Another wheel is an accessible and well-functioning education system. Arguably this wheel has never been fully attached, but the failures of the last two decades threaten that it rolls away. Schools, in our view, particularly those in townships and rural areas, have largely been captured to political interests and have deteriorated to unimaginable levels. And now universities are being brought to their knees as they lurch from crisis to crisis while a semblance of normality is enforced under what are effectively states of emergency. This is not sustainable for any education system. The potential collapse of universities will damage our democracy to its core.

We call on the governing party to take the steps necessary to ensure that the vehicle of state be protected and placed in safe and capable hands. And we join the call for a national convention of stakeholders to begin to reimagine South Africa’s future beyond the unsustainable stresses of the moment.

Written Press Statement by the Nelson Mandela Foundation

RSA: Oakbay Responds to Application by Minister of Finance (19.10.2016)

Pravin Gordhan Rescue

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 19, 2016 Yesterday afternoon, van Der Merwe Associates (“VDMA”) notified the Minister of Finance’s attorneys of their client’s (the Oakbay Group of companies) (www.OakbayInvestments.co.za) intention to oppose the application issued under case number 80978/16 on 14 October 2016 – unless the Minister of Finance withdraws the application and tenders costs by this afternoon – Wednesday 19 October.

VDMA’s letter noted that the Minister of Finance’s affidavit implicated its clients in inappropriate and unlawful conduct. The affidavit also insinuated that VDMA’s clients would “expose the fiscus not only to loss of tax revenue but also put the burden of mining rehabilitation on the fiscus.” which VDMA noted was “uncalled for, malicious and nothing but vexatious.”

VDMA’s client disproved this earlier this week with evidence of the transfer of the Optimum Rehabilitation Trust Fund from Standard Bank to Bank of Baroda, which followed a request by Advocate Thuli Madonsela on 4 October 2016.

VDMA advised its client to oppose the Minister of Finance’s application, obtain all the necessary information from the relevant role players and ask for punitive costs order against dismissal of the application.

VDMA’s letter also stated that the Minister of Finance’s letter has been launched with the financial resources of the tax payer. VDMA’s client does not dispute that Minister of Finance’s is not by law compelled or obliged to intervene in the relationship between VDMA’s clients and the commercial banks. However, VDMA noted that to spend tax payers’ money in “a reckless and inappropriate manner” would constitute a contravention of the provisions of the Public Management Act, No.1 of 1999 – which would warrant “further action against those officials responsible for same.”

Furthermore, VDMA noted that:

“In order that we do not expose the fiscus unnecessarily to costs we propose that the application be withdrawn” – that the Minister of Finance’s application is withdrawn and that the Minister of Finance’s tenders VDMA’s client’s costs, before close of business on 19 October 2016.

VDMA reiterated that the purpose of its letter was to offer the Minister of Finance the opportunity to save taxpayers money.

VDMA also noted that its clients “would like” to put their formal version before court since the Minister of Finance has chosen that forum, so if the application is not withdrawn then “the matter must proceed and we will gladly do the necessary in order to restore the misrepresentation created by the papers.”

VDMA concluded its letter by noting that the Minister of Finance had made “defamatory and untrue remarks towards members of the Gupta Family by insinuating that they have been involved in inappropriate conduct” and that “their rights remain strictly reserved.”

This morning, attorneys for the Minister of Finance declined the offer to withdraw the application and tender COSTs.

RSA: The State Versus Oupa Magashula, Visvanathan (Ivan) Pillay and Pravin Gordhan (17.10.2016)

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Ajay Gupta and Oakbay Investments Delighted with Affidavit from Pravin Gordhan (18.10.2016)

Two and Half Gupta

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 18, 2016 – Gupta Family lawyer, Van Der Merwe Associates, releases a statement on behalf of Mr. Ajay Gupta and Oakbay Investments (www.OakbayInvestments.co.za) in response to the affidavit from Pravin Gordhan.

Highlights include:

  • The Gupta Family (as majority shareholders) and Oakbay Investments are delighted to have been cited as respondents to the application from the Finance Minister. At last, the Gupta Family and Oakbay can begin to formally clear their names. They thank him for this opportunity
  • The Finance Minister’s application is being considered by lawyers for the Gupta Family and Oakbay and will be dealt with in full – each and every entry
    • Six transactions (totalling R4,096 billion) refer to the Optimum mine before it was under Oakbay’s control and so were not transacted by Oakbay or the Family
    • 24 transactions (totalling R325 million) are perfectly legitimate, are in the normal course of business and are not suspicious in any way
    • Five transactions (totalling R1,698 billion) relate to Oakbay Resources and Energy, the listed entity. These are perfectly legitimate and all information is being supplied to its auditor, SizweNtsalubaGobodo, for review
    • Another 20 vaguely refer to ‘multiple transactions’ that makes any further analysis impossible without further detail from the Finance Minister
    • The remaining 17 transactions (totalling R719 million) were also all for legitimate purposes and are absolutely not suspicious. We will disclose these transactions in full, once the full analysis has been completed
    • All of the 72 transactions were approved and cleared by the respective banks processing the transactions
    • The fact that all transactions were approved is acknowledged in the attachment to Minister Gordhan’s application‎, in the form of a signed letter from the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank
    • None of the transactions related to Oakbay or the Family, which are over a five year period,  were flagged to the FIC as suspicious. To put this in context, the FIC’s own 2015-16 Annual Report showed that 98,054 transactions in that year alone were flagged as suspicious by the banks (i.e. STRs)
    • One of the largest transactions flagged in Minister Gordhan’s application was the transfer of the Optimum Rehabilitation Trust’s Account (over R1.3 billion) from Standard Bank to the Bank of Baroda. Yesterday, we proved this was bona fide and approved by all relevant authorities (pdf attached). The transfer occurred because all of Oakbay’s accounts were being closed
    • Whilst we thoroughly welcome this application, it is undiluted nonsense and appears to be little more than the usual political games

    To reiterate, we are delighted to have received this application. The truth always comes out in the end and we look forward to clearing our name in court.

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South Africa’s Zuma asks court to stop release of watchdog’s graft probe results (Youtube-Clip)

“South African President Jacob Zuma has asked the courts to prevent the release of the findings of a probe into alleged political interference. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is expected to announce her preliminary findings from an investigation into the Guptas, a controversial family with close ties to Zuma. They’re accused of using their relationship with the president to influence Cabinet appointments. Madonsela’s report can’t be released until the court has ruled on Zuma’s request. Many locals have expressed their disappointment with the president’s actions, saying the interdict is suspicious” (CCTV Africa, 2016)

South Africa: Economic Freedom Fighters Statement on Recent Political Developments (13.10.2016)

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University of Kwazulu-Natal – VC Communique: Suspension of the Academic Programme on the Westville Campus (10.10.2016)

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The Official Statement of the SRC of the University of Pretoria following a meeting convened by the department of higher education and training (30.09.2016)

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