Velvet Sky attorney withdraws

2012-03-06 11:06

The attorney representing low-cost airline Velvet Sky in a liquidation application withdrew from the case today.

“I have just signed a notice of withdrawal,” said Ahmed Amod ahead of the application set down for tomorrow in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal. Amod cited personal reasons.

BP Southern Africa has filed papers for the liquidation of the airline which has been flying for less than a year, because it is allegedly in arrears on its fuel bill.

On February 24, the British oil and gas company applied to the court for the provisional liquidation of the airline, which allegedly owes R29 million for aviation fuel.

Argument is expected tomorrow.

Amod said he was still a director of the airline.

Yesterday, the liquidators of Pamodzi Gold Mining Group announced they planned to lay charges of fraud against Amod, who is also a lawyer for Aurora Empowerment Systems, the company appointed to manage the mine.

Liquidator Johan Engelbrecht said the charges would also be laid against former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela.

Aurora’s management contract was cancelled after the company was accused of destroying infrastructure at the mines. More than 5 000 miners lost their jobs.

Amod said he had not been informed of the planned charges and that Velvet Sky chief operating officer Gary Webb said earlier today he was not aware that Amod might be charged.

He was feeling hopeful about the BP challenge on Wednesday (tomorrow), he said.

“We are obviously in the hands of the court, but we are optimistic about the outcome there,” said Webb.

“It will take a couple of days to get ourselves back on our feet,” he said when asked when they expected to fly again.

The airline suspended flights last Monday and customers with tickets do not know if they will get refunds or be able to reschedule their bookings.

Velvet Sky’s first flight left OR Tambo International Airport on March 22 2011. A few months later, it was sold by Macdonald Holdings to Excalibur Aerospace.

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