Business In The News South Africa

Community of Mokopane to open case of theft against IvanPlats and their Bee partners

Solly Makganoto

 

Johannesburg, November 9 – The community living around mining areas of Mokopane in Limpopo are planning to open case of theft with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Hawks following the release of a forensic report implicating Platreef-IvanPlats Mine, its subsidiaries and its BEE partners.

The report commissioned by the community following some questionable incidents involving the mines owned by IvanPlats, its BEE partners, and some blurry individuals and their companies, regarding the BEE transactions and loans made.

The irregularities uncovered in the report thus far show a possible pattern of conduct related to BEE irregularities, commercial crimes perpetrated by Ivanhoe Mines (Pty)Ltd and /or any of its subsidiaries, partners and or representatives

The investigation covers the period May 2014 to date, and was done mainly relating to the broad spectrum of the mine, BEE transactions, contract and agreements including sources of funding; and the contracts and loans signed by the BBE parties, including the loans and/or payments made in respect thereof and the mechanisms employed by the various companies involved, which includes Platreef Resources (Pty) Ltd, Platreef BEE (Pty) Ltd, IvanPlats (Pty) Ltd, IvanHoe Mines Ltd, IvanPlats Holding Sarl, ITC (Platinum Development) Ltd, and ITOCHU Corporation.

The report found, among others, that: there are various contracts / loan agreements involving the BEECo and its financial transactions,  the transactions were not clear, transparent, equitable or cost-effective,  the contracts entered into are contrary to the applicable Contract laws and legislation, Company laws and Corporate Governance, among others and agreements were signed and implemented on or about June 2014, immediately after the Mining Right was granted.

It was also found that on or about June 2014, a person named a Ms Cloete signed for all parties including the BEE concerned for all Loan Agreements between Bearl Sarl; Platreef (Pty) Ltd and the BEE companies, which are some of the companies implicated in the report.

 
“All of the agreements have been signed for by Ms Cloete who strategically signed for all parties, in some instances she represented all five signatories to all loan, cession and all other forms of agreements,” said Community leader Sello Kekana.

 
“The one glaring similarity about the transactions is that at this stage there are no bank accounts for all the companies listed and implicated, which raises questions of where was the money shipped to?”

Some of the transactions made for all companies and highlighted in the report include:
– There is a Loan Agreement from Ivanplats Holdings to BEECo in the amount of R2 702 850 000, 00.
– There is a Loan Agreement from Community Trust Co to BEECo in the amount of R2 378 508 000, 00.
– There is a Loan Agreement from Employee Trust Co in the amount of R324 342 000.
– There is a Loan Agreement from Entrepreneur Co in the amount of R 312 000 000, 00.
– There is a Cession and Vendor Loan Agreement between Community Trust Co and Beales Community Trust Co in the amount of R 2 378 508 000, 00.

 

 
The report says the amounts in the transactions investigated are over R3 billion.

 

 
“The report is very damning and is exposing what we have been saying all along about the conduct of Ms Cloete and her friends in IvanPlats,” says Sello Kekana. ” We feel exonerated by the findings contained in the report.”

 
“This is theft at a grand stand against the people of Mokopane. The villages around where there mines are happening are very poor. But the rich mines along with their friends come and milk the little that was supposed to help the community. Its wrong and criminal, and that is why we will be going to Mokopane police station on Tuesday the 14th November 2017, to open a case of theft against Ms Cloete and the mining company and those implicated,” Kekana added.

Based on the above and a preliminary investigation of the BBE affairs in the mine project, the companies are involved in the financial transactions which are contrary to the Companies Act and have tax implications.

 

 
The BEE companies will ultimately be implicated in the loan agreements and can be charged with commercial and tax related crimes.

The report recommends a review of the BEE structure to determine the real value of the 26% held by the BEE companies in terms of the composition and the Loan Agreements. In which specific company is the 26% held and the value thereof has to be clearly determined.

 

 
We are therefore demanding that the BEE companies withdraw from the current mining transactions entered into and request that the entire BEE Agreements be re-negotiated and be drafted properly. The above will effectively render the Mining company non-compliant with the Department of Mineral and Resources and MPRD Act.

The entire agreements should therefore be declared null and void. The architects, designers and the signatories thereof should be charged accordingly. Alternatively, new agreements should be designed, discussed and agreed upon, thereafter to be signed by the relevant representatives.

“We will be presenting charges relating to commercial and tax related crimes to the hawks and the police this coming week. The people should be charged and the transactions reversed. The money stolen from the community should be repaid,” Kekana added.

 

 

 
“We will be writing to the Department and the portfolio committee to investigate the possibility that Ivanplats could have strong-armed the community, and violate the requirements of the mining laws. We believe it’s the duty of government to start monitoring the behaviour of these mining companies in relation to the communities where they mine”.

 

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