Tony Yengeni gives up directorships
Cape Town - ANC former chief whip Tony Yengeni has resigned the directorships he holds in six companies, his attorney said on Thursday.
Yengeni was out of the country and returned to South Africa on Wednesday morning, Brian Kahn said in a statement.
"This is his first opportunity to deal with the recent events publicised regarding his appointment as a director in private companies," he said.
Upon his return, Yengeni "immediately consulted his attorneys and he was advised to resign from such appointments with immediate effect, which he did".
Since 2003, Yengeni had believed he was only limited in holding the office of director in public companies - which was what he understood the term public office to mean, Kahn said.
Yengeni at no time intended to contravene the Companies Act and "regrets the incidents".
"He has instructed his attorneys Brian Kahn Incorporated to prepare an application seeking authority from the high court for him to hold the office of director," Kahn said.
Earlier this week, the Democratic Alliance laid charges against Yengeni for serving as a director of six companies, because by law his jail sentence for fraud precluded him from doing so.
Section 218 of the Companies Act disqualifies anybody jailed for theft, fraud, forgery or perjury from being a company director, unless the high court sets aside the disqualification.
Rapport and City Press claimed on Sunday that Yengeni was still serving as a company director, despite his four-year jail sentence for fraud linked to South Africa's multi-billion-rand arms deal.
A search of the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro) revealed Yengeni serves as a director for Auburn Avenue Trading 88, Circle Way Trading 231, Duoflex, Abrina 2354, White Rag Investments and Cream Mag Trading.
He joined three of the companies in 2005, before he was sent to jail the following year, and the remaining three in 2008.
City Press quoted Yengeni as spurning the notion that he had to ask the courts for special permission to serve as a director.
"What has the high court to do with my life?" he reportedly asked.
"Maybe the law stipulates certain things. But the high court... I don't think they feature. I don't have to ask permission from them to deal with my life," he reportedly said.
Yengeni is currently in charge of establishing the ANC's new political school.