SA spy ‘a trillionaire’

2011-07-16 16:24

A senior National Intelligence Agency (NIA) official was the driving force behind a secret R200 million rescue package – using worthless Mexican agricultural bonds – to save beleaguered Pamodzi Gold from liquidation two years ago.

The bailout package was to be financed as part of a scheme run by the NIA man to sell international bonds for hundreds of millions of rand to local and international businessmen.

But the scheme failed to bear fruit and Pamodzi was taken over by a company owned by, among others, President Jacob Zuma’s nephew and Nelson Mandela’s grandson.

The secret “white knight” for Pamodzi was none other than “Dr” Andre Vorster, exposed last week for his bogus doctoral degrees and for running a controversial law firm while a full-time employee of the NIA as a specialist technical adviser.

The NIA is now investigating Vorster for a breach of the Intelligence Act and for conducting business without permission.

They questioned him late last week and said the probe was continuing.

In a new development yesterday, Vorster said he had resigned from the NIA. He conceded that he had done some ABVP law work during office hours, but that it had no impact on his state functions.

He also conceded that there might be something wrong with his two doctorates and said he has launched his own investigation to determine their validity. If they turn out to be bogus, he will relinquish them.

This week, City Press came into possession of a host of documents detailing Vorster’s shady and mostly fanciful business ventures.

In correspondence with businessmen, Vorster claims that he is the owner, or has control, of Mexican bonds worth more than R4 billion – and “historic German bonds” valued at $14 trillion (about R98 trillion).

But US brokers and the Bank of Mexico have warned clients that the vast majority of the Mexican bonds are worthless. The German bonds are also worthless.

Vorster maintains that his Mexican and German bonds are true and valid.

He said that information about them is “sensitive” because it could influence the world economy.

Documents show Vorster’s involvement in an effort to save Pamodzi from going under in 2009 when it needed R400 million to save its mines. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) came up with R200 million.

An unknown funder – known only as Best Rock Investments (BRI) – pledged the other R200 million. BRI was owned by controversial businesswoman Neelsie Theunissen.

What people didn’t know then was that Theunissen’s business partner was Vorster. He claimed in a March 2009 fax to Pamodzi executive-director Kobus du Plooy that a European bank had granted a credit line of R200 million to BRI.

But the loan failed to materialise and the mining group collapsed. As many as 15 000 jobs were lost.

Documents show that Theunissen and Vorster had further business dealings, including an apparent deal to raise a €500 million (about R4.8 billion) loan.

Vorster said Theunissen and BRI were merely his clients and he had cut all ties with them last year.

Du Plooy said this week that he had held negotiations with Vorster and Theunissen in 2009 and that they had assured him the R200 million loan that would have saved his company’s mines was coming.

“They promised the loan was on its way and I had no reason not to believe them. I had signed documentation with them and then nothing happened. I was never even given a proper reason why the loan did not materialise,” he said.

Theunissen has since died.

Vorster now believes that his life is in danger and that City Press’ reporting has put his negotiations “at risk”.

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