Motala’s dealings under microscope

2011-09-10 08:59

The Master of the North Gauteng High Court is probing close on 300 liquidations – worth hundreds of millions of rand – carried out by controversial former Pamodzi Gold liquidator Enver Motala.

All these cases had fallen under the court’s jurisdiction since 2002.

Should the politically connected liquidator be found to have colluded with any party or failed in his duties in the liquidations, the Master will recommend that criminal charges for fraud and corruption be laid against Motala.

Earlier this week, Motala was removed from the Master’s Pretoria panel for lying about his criminal record, denying changing his name and failing to inform the Master and his fellow Pamodzi liquidators about the fact that Aurora Empowerment Systems was broke and had borrowed R3 million from his firm, SBT Trust (Pty) Ltd.

On May 23, Motala was also fired as a Pamodzi liquidator, whose Orkney and Grootvlei mines had been the subject of a failed bid by Aurora Empowerment Systems, for failing to cooperate with a Master’s probe into the deal.

The Master’s office is already preparing to ask the National Prosecuting Authority to charge Motala over the Pamodzi liquidation.

Chief Master Lester Basson confirmed that Motala’s Pretoria liquidations – estimated to number about 300 – were now under investigation. He did not provide further details and said that no decision had yet been taken about investigating the estimated 200 Joburg and 100 Pietermaritzburg liquidations Motala had dealt with.

In a letter of removal sent to Motala earlier this week, deputy master Christine Rossouw said he was being removed from the panel as they had no “confidence in your candour, integrity and transparency”.

She said: “The Master cannot entrust the administration of companies in liquidation and sequestrations to you.
“More particularly, the Master cannot allow the continued entrustment of millions of rand of funds in such estates to you.”
Russouw said Motala had both evaded questions and later lied about his one theft and 93 fraud convictions under his real name, Enver Mohamed Dawood, which he had changed to Enver Mohamed Motala on June 22, 1981.

Further, he had refused to answer questions about his relationship with Aurora and the Bhana family, who ran its mining operations. He had also failed to disclose his knowledge that Aurora was broke at a time when he was arguing for its management contract at the mines to be extended.

Motala, she said, had loaned Aurora R3 million during this time without informing the Master or his fellow liquidators, a step he should have taken as their financial condition was central to their being granted the contract for the Pamodzi mines.

“At all material times you were causing extensions to be granted to Aurora to honour its financial commitments.
Unbeknown to the Master and apparently your ­co-liquidators, while Aurora was obtaining the extensions, you were both making loans to and receiving payments from Aurora.’’

Motala this week failed to respond to detailed questions about his removal by the Master, his real identity, and the Pamdozi and other liquidations.

Through his spokesperson Pedro van Gaalen, he said he was consulting his lawyers to challenge the removal.

“I am consulting with my attorneys on an appropriate challenge to what appears to be a clear breach of my constitutional rights.

“No finding has been made that I failed to discharge my duties in accordance with the act. The matter has now been referred to the appropriate forum.

“At the appropriate time, a further statement will be issued, should this still be necessary,’’ Motala said.

On August 28, Motala lodged an application in the North Gauteng High Court to have himself re-instated as the Pamodzi liquidator after he was removed by the Master on May 23 this year.

In court papers he claimed that he had discharged his duties as a liquidator and that he had been the victim of “bias” by staff from the Master’s office.

Motala claimed he had been summoned to a hearing – at which he had been unable to answer questions about the dealings with Aurora – without being given time to prepare himself.

He also claimed that he had been treated differently to his fellow liquidators, that his removal had been “unlawful and irregular” and that he had not been given a proper explanation.

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