Fedusa, Dennis George reach settlement after controversial Ayo investment

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Dennis George
Dennis George

A settlement has been reached between the Federation of Unions of South Africa and its former general secretary Dennis George, under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. 

The parties agreed to settle amicably, they said in a statement issued on Friday. 

George - who was the longest-serving leader of a South African trade union - was at the helm for more than two decades. He was axed earlier this year, according to Fedusa, following  "allegations relating to the acquisition of shares in technology company, Ayo Technology Systems". Fedusa said its National Executive Council unanimously decided to fire George, Fin24 previously reported.

George, however, said workers could benefit from the shares in Ayo, saying the union could take up an allocation of 11 million shares which were housed in a company called Difeme investments, which were at the at the time worth approximately R120m. George was the sole director of Difeme, according to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

In the statement issued on Friday, Fedusa and George said the precise terms of the settlement were confidential. However, they said that no compensation had been paid to George. 

"Dr George concedes that his decision to purchase shares in Ayo Technology SOlutions was to warehouse the shares in Difeme Holdings Proprietary Limited on behalf of Fedusa. Dr George has stated that the warehoused shares were purchased with the aim to empower trade unions, workers and rural communities," the statement said. 

"Fedusa did not pay for the warehoused shares. Further, Fedusa was not aware of this transaction, nor did it authorise it, and Dr George has stated that he did not receive any financial gain of a personal nature from the abovementioned sale purchase."

The parties agreed not to make disparaging, untrue or negative remarks about each other, the statement added. 

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