City Press wins battle to access records

2012-11-08 22:37

Johannesburg - The refusal of three companies to give City Press newspaper access to its share registers was criminal, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria found.

"The respondents have set out no reasons why the applicants would not be entitled to inspect or copy the securities register as they were ordered to do by Bertelsmann J," a judgment handed down by Judge Sulet Potterill on Wednesday read.

"The refusal of the respondents is in itself criminal conduct."

City Press had applied for access to the companies' share registers, which shows who owns the companies, in September last year

Potterill said the companies, On-Point Engineers, SGL Engineering and Gwama Properties, reportedly linked to former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, a year later had still not given reasons why City Press would not be entitled to the registers.

It was argued that the newspaper did not have the right to access the share registers of private companies under the 2008 Companies Act.

However, Potterill in her judgment said access provisions had been replicated from the old 2008 act to the new act, which was amended in April 2011.

"Under the old act access of a members register was granted to any person, provided the prescribed fee was paid. In the new act the only change is a name change in that a profit company must have a securities register which was the members register under the old act," the judgment read.

Potterill ordered the companies to allow City Press to inspect or make copies of the securities registers.

The companies were also ordered to pay the costs of the applicants, City Press assistant editor Adriaan Basson and Media 24 Limited.

According to court papers submitted in a separate case, it was alleged that Malema had clear business ties with On-Point Engineers director Lesiba Gwangwa and benefited from fraudulent tenders awarded to the company.

Malema's Ratanang Family Trust was also shown to be an indirect shareholder in On-Point.

Gwama Properties was 100% owned by Guilder Investment, indicating that the Ratanang Trust had an indirect shareholding in Gwama Properties.

SGL Engineering Project is 70% owned by Malema and 30% owned by Gwangwa.

*News24 is part of, a subsidiary of Media24, which is in the Naspers stable. City Press is a subsidiary of Media24.

  • jimzimbo - 2012-11-08 23:10

    The intelligent masses taking on those voted into power by the unintelligent "grass roots"....go go go never relent!! - 2012-11-09 00:42

      If i try to translate "unintelligent" it comes up with "stupid". Whats wrong??I'm German speaking, please help.

      gray.braatvedt - 2012-11-09 08:26

      @Klaus Intelligence is the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge. Lack thereof may not be stupid; just simple... Or maybe both.

  • John - 2012-11-09 00:03

    The fact that Juliarse MalSchemer owns shares, does not make him personally liable for the CONTRACTS entered into by the limited liability entity! Only the assets of the company can be seized. He has cleverly shielded his assets like Oppenheimer and Rockefeller et al. Watch the arrogant worm worm his way out of this one! This is the way of the CORPORATION! RTMC, SASSA, SABC, SANRAL, SAPS, SARB, and many more I can't immediately recall! You tell me! This structure is what JuliArse is hiding behind!

  • justin.b.whittaker - 2012-11-09 00:11

    Malema needs a smack upside his larhe empty head oh and the corruption cuffs!

      arthurenlouise.tarr - 2012-11-09 11:15

      F*CK SARS!!!! Lets MaRCH !!!!!

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-11-09 01:05

    This news does not even excite me anymore.. He will somehow slip out if it.. He's 'in' With the Big Boys

  • Gert van Coller - 2012-11-09 02:10

    'don't buy city press don't buy!...' That was a good one!

  • ingwani.sithole - 2012-11-09 03:12

    "Judge Sulet Potterill " I'm not suprised.

      patrick.saunders123 - 2012-11-09 05:40

      this must be the idiot corner

      frikdt - 2012-11-09 06:55

      @DubulaAmanzi: Let's face it, people like you are the biggest racists these days - your comment proves it.

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-11-09 07:14

      You another one who does not want justice done and does not not know the difference between right and wrong? Very sad indeed!

      sakhile.gamede - 2012-11-09 07:20

      realy this must be the idiot not going to listen to this...justice myst prevail nw,burn them citypress

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-11-09 08:47

      Apartheid this, apartheid that. But when are people gonna overcome it and move on with their lives, or are they going to live their miserable lives being victims for ever? When a court sit, in law it is said the court is going to answer a legal question. What was the legal question before her Ladyship? It was whether a company has the right to refuse an access to information to City Press? 2011 Companies Act says no. Her Ladyship then applied the law on the legal question before her. Then show me apartheid here. It is not only dangerous to comment on something you don't know, it exposes your level of stupidity. As they always say: there is limit to intelligence but stupidity knows no bounds! I rest my case.

      talana.malherbe - 2012-11-09 10:37

      Out of respect for my fellow bloggers I usually refrain from calling anybody stupid but you make it very difficult for me. Why in heavens name, or rather how did this again become a racist issue??? Take some tips from @siphom.mnguni, this is about the law not about race, idiot!

  • bosveld.reaper - 2012-11-09 04:20

    Time that all politicians are probed...T

      jam3son.walk3r - 2012-11-09 09:38

      And when the human probing, is complete, send them all to the aliens for anal probing.

  • veliswa.mambi - 2012-11-09 05:01

    Yeah neh, does it end hey? Can't people just comply and save themselves unnecessary legal fees and us the drama?

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-09 05:49

    Tip of the BBBEE (Broad Backed Black Entitled Embezzlement)illicit redistribution (theft) of public funds in totally anti-democratic manner. Is there a single "Trust" that has not been abused in SA? Is it impossible for black this or black that to be honest, dependable and advantageous to the nation instead of pure self-enrichment corrupting greed? #Zumaville and the "palais royale nkandla khaya" (mfeka's & Nene's) will exhibit far worse through misuse of inflated contracts and immoral commissions via 'tribal trusts' the most anti-democratic form of parasitic despotism that seemingly the bulk of SA'ns still hanker for yet wildly acclaim DEMOCRACY. Stupid? No - just backward reverse mindset - based on deception and dishonesty! Solution - SLAP IN THE FACE on both cheeks hard, and throw the leaders into jail for a long time and RECOVER the monies for the state and benefit of all South Africa.

  • sicelo.brukwe.9 - 2012-11-09 05:52

    One of BATHO PELE Principles is access to information, tell me which information where they talking about because it seems like one's got to fight in order to get information!

      arthurenlouise.tarr - 2012-11-09 11:15

      F*CK SARS!!!! Lets MaRCH !!!!!

  • richard.madhopershad - 2012-11-09 06:02

    rapist, murderer, fraudster...they are all criminals!!

  • Eric Mdudus Shaku - 2012-11-09 06:55

    In soccer we call it , indirect freekick u dont kick straight to goals but pass sm1 first that sm1 can score,like Gwangwa get money but it belong to Malema

  • toshwr - 2012-11-09 06:56

    Who is really a stupid to think that, anything can really happen without being uncovered. Why are the black deplomats detroying their only hope of surviving as a black South Africa in the future. I ask, if not African Agenda now, when is the South African agenda going to tidy. Well, it is good work to uncover the truths about the capitalist deplomats who claim to serve the poor of the poor. When will our people never care about just a T-shirt and grant, but be aware of policies themselves and vote for better policies. I suggests those policies are those that judge better for the truth to come out, delivering government. TIME IS TICKING SOUTH AFRICA 10 YEARS LEFT TO POOR STATE LIKE ANY YOU FIND IN THE CURRENT CENTRAL AFRICA. Lucky for me ill be educated and doing well, and that who is uneducated, and just supporting midiocre and banana state government you will wish you had stopped all the nonsense of foolishness your leaders have. Anyway it is upto you South Africa to smell the coffee we are no longer that colorful and equal South Africa, we have proven failier of leadership. But it is not tolate we can still make it, by truelly serving our poor people, no jokes for competent president and know you policies from Gogo to five year old child. Then we will be a dreaming nation, and fastly becoming first world and preparing for a United States of Africa. Note, poverty is on its way including for your leaders who will run away and never look back, and youll b left with hunger face

      talana.malherbe - 2012-11-09 10:43

      @toshwr, great comment.

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-11-09 07:10

    Ha ha ha.....good work judge....*thinking* isnt there some sort of organisation where all shares have to be registered? In addtion, SARS? just saying....cant they get the information via this means?

  • phindani.zethi - 2012-11-09 07:10

    mxm...who cares?

      talana.malherbe - 2012-11-09 10:44

      @phindani, so you don't care that these people are cheating and defrauding you and I, you don't care the the monies could've given some poor people a house? Shocking.

  • maokeng.mankge - 2012-11-09 07:43

    Give City Press a award..dnt listen 2 stupid so called high education minister“Blade Nzimande” when saying “Don't buy city Press”..expose dis uneducated corrupt politician another vote of no confidence.

  • talana.malherbe - 2012-11-09 10:40

    We need to understand the danger when we vote again. Once Zoomer is voted out and Mothlathe is in, Malema is back in. Malema is just as corrupt as Zoomer, he doesn't care about the poor, he is only good at fueling anger. How is he helping improving conditions in our country, he isn't. We need to get rid of these corrupt elements for once and for all!

  • mmoledis - 2012-11-09 11:18

    If there is nothing wrong with those papers so let those companies hand them to city press, because failure to do so will mean we are not equal before the law because it is the courts of this land that ordered those documents to be out, let us be all equal before the law, if those companies failed to hand those papers according the the order given by court then they should be arrested owners of those companies because that is a contempt of court they are defying the laws of this country.

      tumyp - 2012-11-21 14:32

      How are the small fries expected to comply with the law when the big kahunas are in contempt of the very law, just thinking...Now, at the same time as City Press is given access to the companies' records, can we have those spy tapes as well, please. Yes the ones pertaining to that decision not to prosecute...We need to do further probing and reinstate the charges "if needs be", wink wink, just to be politically correct.

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