Top musos in R1.7m ‘sting’

2010-05-23 12:54

Jazz legend Hugh Masekela’s former

business partner, ­Muhammed Irfaan Gillan, has been taken to court for allegedly

defrauding banking giant Absa and a company in which iconic South African

musicians Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Sibongile Khumalo, Jonas Gwangwa and

internationally acclaimed filmmaker Anant Singh had an interest.

Gillan (39), a former director and chief executive of Masekela’s record label, Chissa Entertainment, is

accused of having transferred R1.7?million from the Absa account of Zamori 82,

which ­Semenya and his wife, Mbulu, own.

Company records show that Masekela,

Khumalo, Gwangwa and Singh are no longer associated with the company.

In papers filed at the South Gauteng High Court, Absa accuses

Gillan of opening an internet banking facility for Zamori 82 without


The bank says that between February and December 2006 Gillan stole

R1.7 million from Zamori 82’s account and transferred it to his own company,

Gillani Group, and later to Masekela’s Chissa.

Gillan responded in court papers by saying the amount was

R1.4 million and that Absa was “making up” the R1.7 million.

Absa contends that Zamori 82 did not owe Gillan, his company or

Chissa Entertainment money.

Although Gillan, his company and Chissa acknowledged the debt in

April 2007, he made only seven payments – totalling R210 000 – between March

2008 and last April.

Absa paid more than R1.7 million (including interest) to Zamori 82

in June 2007 to replace the stolen funds, in exchange for Zamori 82 ceding its

rights to claim against Gillan or his company and Chissa Entertainment.

The agreement was signed by Zamori 82 directors Semenya and Mbulu

at a meeting of directors in June 2007.

Gillan’s 100% shareholding in Gillani Group will be auctioned off

on May 31 at the sheriff’s office in Midrand, Johannesburg, to recover Absa’s

R1.7 million plus interest after the South Gauteng High Court’s judgment in the

bank’s favour last week.

Absa spokesperson Patrick Wadula would not say if the bank would

charge Gillan with fraud.

This week Masekela refused to

comment, saying he was in Austria until early next month.

Gillan denied any knowledge of the court judgment to auction off

his company.

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