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Tongaat wants R76m back from ex-property boss, including for losses from 'dodgy' deals

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Mike Deighton in December 2016.
Mike Deighton in December 2016.
Picture: GO! Durban/Facebook

One-time JSE darling Tongaat Hulett is going after its former head of property development Mike Deighton, seeking to recoup millions of rands he earned in salaries, performance bonuses and perks over four years during which, it is alleged, he cooked the books.

Deighton, along with other former executives including former CEO Peter Staude, are facing criminal charges of racketeering and fraud relating to the allegations that they backdated property sales, in order to inflate the company’s profits - duping shareholders and the market that the company was financially rosy.

A forensic audit, subsequently done by PwC partner Trevor White, revealed a different picture. The audit forms the basis of the criminal charges and the civil action instituted against Deighton and others, to recover not only what they pocketed as executives but - in the case of Deighton - money Tongaat lost through what it says were dodgy deals.

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