Gold Fields boss waives bonus after investigation into BEE deal

2013-08-22 12:31

Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland has offered to waive his bonus after an investigation into the company’s BEE transaction at its South Deep mine.

“In recognition of the concerns which have been generated around the BEE transaction relating to South Deep, CEO Nick Holland has offered to waive his bonus in respect of the 2013 financial year end,” Gold Fields said in a statement today.

The investigation revealed the transaction was not consistent with company standards. The company’s board initiated the investigation into the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transaction in December 2012 after it was questioned in media reports.

In March, financial daily Business Day reported that Gold Fields’ former chairwoman Mamphela Ramphele said the government had shoved a list of BEE shareholders down the company’s throat, with an ultimatum that if the preferred names were not taken on board it would be denied a mining licence.

These shareholders were to be part of the Invictus Gold empowerment deal. The deal resulted in politically-connected Invictus Gold taking a 9% stake of South Deep mine at a cost of R1.1 billion in 2010, Business Day reported.

The newspaper also reported that Gold Fields had not provided the names of all 73 shareholders in Invictus Gold, which had led to the “secretive” nature of the deal. Only 18 Invictus Gold shareholders were revealed to the public.

Ramphele became chairwoman of Gold Fields around the time the deal was finalised.

“We also, under my leadership, instituted the social and ethics committee. It is not me in charge of that investigation, because we believe in good governance,” Ramphele was quoted as saying at the time.

“Now, to jump to the conclusion that I must have been colluding with this simply because I talk too much, I always criticise government, is sad.”

Gold Fields at the time rejected the report as untrue and said Ramphele’s statements represented her personal views.

Ramphele resigned as chairwoman of Gold Fields in February. She now leads political party AgangSA. The final report of the board’s investigation found the transaction benefited the mining company.

“The board continues to believe that the BEE transaction is one of lasting benefit to the company and its BEE stakeholders,” Gold Fields said today.

Further findings from the investigation revealed that the transaction was not consistent with the company’s standards.

The company’s internal policies would be designed to increase transparency and improve communication between management and the board, Gold Fields said.

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