Sekunjalo, the investment holding company chaired by businessman Iqbal Survé, says it intends to sue financial regulator the Financial Sector Conduct Authority over the raid it carried out at the group's offices in Cape Town on Wednesday.
In a statement on Friday, Sekunjalo said the application for the raid was "entirely without merit and the judge that granted the request was "misled by the FSCA".
The regulator said on Friday it had not received any motion from Sekunjalo, but "should the threatened legal action materialise, the authority will defend itself". It previously said the raid was part of a probe into market manipulation, and was conducted with a court-approved search warrant.
The raid took place at the Cape Town offices of Sekunjalo and African Equity Empowerment Investments, one of its JSE-listed subsidiaries. In a 2-minute video uploaded on Wednesday, Survé alleged the raid was as a "fishing expedition" to get information on Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, the president and others. "You are trying to get that information because my reporters are about to publish it," he told FSCA investigators.
Gordhan, meanwhile, said in a statement on Thursday the Independent Media boss's attacks on him were characterised by "malicious, yet nonsensical utterances".
Sekunjalo on Friday said it had instructed its lawyers to also institute "extensive damages claims against the regulator, its acting commissioner Abel Sithole, as well as against the FSCA, its acting commissioner, [and] the investigators that participated in the irregular raid on our offices".
It did not say where or by when it would lodge founding affidavits.
While the FSCA did not elaborate in their statement on Wednesday, according to Sekunjalo the raid is related to a subsidiary of AEEI – AYO Technology Solutions, which listed on the JSE in 2017 after receiving a R4.3bn investment by state-asset manager the Public Investment Corporation.
The PIC earlier this year instituted a court application to claim back the R4.3bn, plus interest, that it had invested in the IT company in late 2017. AYO is opposing the claim.
* This article has been updated to include comment by the FSCA