Coal mining baron Tim Tebeila this week became the latest highly thought of businessman to be sucked into the circus of controversy linked to the National Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc).
On Friday a faction that has been against Nafcoc president Lawrence Mavundla held a conference at Sandton’s Southern Sun Hotel and elected Tebeila their president.
However, Mavundla said the elective conference was unconstitutional.
Mavundla said Nafcoc had won an urgent interdict in the South Gauteng High Court which nullified the elective conference.
“The court order states that the meeting was unconstitutional in terms of the Nafcoc constitution,” he said.
He said the court order also states that the faction’s meeting was prohibited from taking resolutions in the name of Nafcoc.
Mavundla said the manner in which the faction has conducted itself was not in accordance with the constitution of Nafcoc.
“The only people who are allowed to elect a new leadership is the Nafcoc Council, which is the federation’s highest decision-making body and the electing structure,” said Mavundla.
He said the Nafcoc Council had met at Nafcoc House on Thursday and expressed confidence in his leadership.
“Those people who elected Tebeila are Nafcoc rebels and not members of the council,” he said.
Nafcoc has expelled those who wanted to destabilise it.
However, Tebeila and his faction were upbeat.
“I have been elected as the president of Nafcoc and my aim is to serve and develop small businesses,” he said.
“I will not be involved in petty arguments and internal squabbles regarding Nafcoc.
“I just want to do what I have been elected for,” he said.
Tebeila follows in the footsteps of his peer billionaire Patrice Motsepe, who served as Nafcoc president between 2002 and 2006, but never managed to establish peace in the federation.
Tebeila said he was not worried that being linked to the federation might drag his reputation through the mud.
The faction’s spokesperson, Dan Mbuli, claimed that more than 70% of Nafcoc members came to the conference, removed Mavundla from leadership and elected Tebeila.
“Tebeila will occupy the head office of Nafcoc and start his duties within 30 days,” said Mbuli.