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NPA targets Tegeta shares in Optimum Coal Mine in bid to claw back R3.4bn in state capture proceeds | Fin24



Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga is underneath busisness rescue

  • In March, the Gauteng High Court granted a preservation order permitting the attachment of Tegeta’s shares in Optimum Coal Mine (OCM) and Optimum Coal Terminal (OCT).
  • The preservation order contains OCM’s companies. 
  • On Friday, the National Prosecuting Authority lodged one other utility, this time for the shares Tegeta owns in OCM and OCT to be forfeited to the State.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has utilized to the Gauteng High Court to have shares valued at greater than R3.4 billion, owned by the infamous Gupta household’s Tegeta Exploration & Resources, forfeited to the State.

“The application seeks to have the shares…forfeited to the State on grounds of having been acquired through the proceeds of unlawful activities and the instrumentality of money laundering under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act,” the NPA stated in an announcement. 

The application, which was lodged in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday, follows a preservation order that the court docket granted in March for the attachment of all of Tegeta’s shares in Optimum Coal Mine (OCM) and Optimum Coal Terminal (OCT).

The preservation order included OCM’s companies. 

READOptimum business rescue was not a gambit to squeeze Eskom, Zondo hears

The court docket additionally made a second choice on a declare of R1.3 billion from Templar Capital, a Bermuda-registered firm.  The preservation declare in opposition to Templar stemmed from an advance from Griffin Line Trading, an organization nominally headed by Ajay Gupta’s son, Kamal Singhala.

“Daniel McGowan, the owner of Templar, has himself stated under oath that the funds advanced by Griffin Line [were] derived from money stolen from the South African government and laundered via Mr Singhala on behalf of his father and wider family members,” the NPA stated.

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Ouma Rabaji-Rasethaba, who’s chargeable for asset forfeiture, defined that the appliance was one of many NPA’s strikes to claw again the proceeds of state seize as per the suggestions of the Zondo Commission’s report. 

In a founding affidavit filed on the High Court, Rabaji-Rasethaba included a variety of respondents, akin to OCM, OCT, their enterprise rescue practitioners, curators, Tegeta, the National Union of Mineworkers, Templar, Liberty Coal – which has made an acquisition supply for Optimum and collectors who’ve made claims in opposition to OCM and OCT. 

Creditors have been included attributable to an utility for an order invalidating OCM and OCT’s enterprise rescue plans, during which it’s alleged that the plans’ implementation was a violation of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

READ | Supreme Court rejects Gupta firm bid to remove Tegeta business rescue practitioners

However, Rabaji-Rasethaba stated the court docket’s order was topic to “legitimate” claims from collectors and enterprise rescue practitioners.

The protected claims exclude shareholder loans made to OCM and claims from collectors which the Guptas, Salim Essa and McGowan are identified to have an curiosity in.

Essa is a Gupta affiliate who has been identified as one of the people involved in state capture. He, together with three of the Gupta brothers, has been sanctioned by the US Treasury.

Rabaji-Rasethaba added that events associated to the Guptas and Essa “distorted” the present enterprise rescue plan, which is another excuse the plan needs to be declared invalid.

A brand new “lawful” enterprise rescue plan that hasn’t been “tainted” by the claims of the associated events and Centaur Ventures Limited (CVL), may be applied as soon as the illegal claims are eliminated. CVL is linked to McGowan.

If new plans should not put in place, the curator can promote OCM’s companies, along with its shares and people of OCT and pay the funds into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account, she stated.

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