Hands off Kalahari, warns chair

2010-09-25 14:22

“Leave Kalahari alone,” said Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, the chairperson of Kalahari Resources, the company that is at the centre of a corporate soap opera.

Kalahari made headline news after its directors were removed without their knowledge and without the proper procedures being followed.

Mashile-Nkosi was commenting after Sandi Majali and Stephen Khoza, the businesspeople involved in the hijacking, threatened to take her to the authorities over alleged tax irregularities and corporate governance breaches.

She has in turn opened a fraud case against them with the police.

“All they have done is to sabotage the project. After they took over they did not come to my office or the mine or speak to the contractors and shareholders.

“I had to speak to everyone, including our funders, to assure them that all is well,” said Mashile-Nkosi.

Majali, who heads Imvume Investments, said he had been looking to sell his investment in Kalahari for the past two years but his efforts had been thwarted by Mashile-Nkosi’s refusal to make the financial statements of the company available.

Majali claimed to own a share of the 10% owned by Siyanda Mining in Kalahari, because he owns 85% of Siyanda through his wholly owned Tshozi Investments.

Lindani Mthwa, part owner of Siyanda Mining, denied this claim and said Majali’s shares had been taken over by Absa.
 
Mashile-Nkosi disputed Majali’s claim that he was a Kalahari shareholder.

“You can’t be a shareholder of a company because you are a shareholder of another.

“I can’t make the company’s financial results available to strangers because there are competitors out there who can use the information to harm our firm,” she said.

“Even if you are an aggrieved shareholder, what right do you have to commit fraud?” asked Mashile-Nkosi.

Majali distanced himself from the fraud allegations. He said Khoza, head of the South African Community Government Union (SACGU), had acted on his own in removing Kalahari directors and replacing them with other people, including Majali.

Khoza said Majali had approached the SACGU in May to assist him in investigating a potential case of fraud by Mashile-Nkosi against Majali.

Khoza said they found that there were irregularities in how Mashile-Nkosi conducted her business, resulting in potential tax fraud of R54 million.

“We have approached the SA Revenue Service to investigate the matter,” he said.

Khoza said the SACGU was a self-funded organisation that had 15 people fighting to enforce good governance in the private and public sectors.

Majali also alleged that Mashile-Nkosi had not held an annual general meeting for shareholders in two years.

Mashile-Nkosi denied Majali’s accusation, saying the last AGM had been held during the past October. What appears to have jolted Majali into action is what he saw as Mashile-Nkosi’s attempt to buy all his shares in Tshozi on the cheap.

In April Mashile-Nkosi offered to buy the shares for R45 million from Absa, presumably to increase her stake in Kalahari.
 
Absa have the shares because Majali had put them as surety on a R40 million loan he took out for another business. That business is being liquidated and Absa has taken possession of the Tshozi shares.

Majali said: “I have had numerous offers to buy the shares for a lot more than that but we couldn’t conclude a deal because we can’t access Kalahari’s financials.”

Mashile-Nkosi said her offer was based on an independent valuation of Tshozi in April.

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