News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
15 Nov 2019
1:06 pm

Future of corruption-accused Bosasa set to be decided by Supreme Court of Appeal

News24 Wire

Ralph Lutchman, Tania Oosthuizen and Cloete Murray were appointed as the liquidators of Bosasa and 14 of its subsidiaries in February this year.

Picture: iStock

The future of corruption-accused facilities management and security company Bosasa is set to be decided by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Liquidators appointed to wind up Bosasa, now named African Global Operations, and its subsidiaries have taken their fight to keep the Krugersdorp group under liquidation to the SCA in Bloemfontein.

Arguments are expected to be heard on Friday.

Ralph Lutchman, Tania Oosthuizen and Cloete Murray were appointed as the liquidators of Bosasa and 14 of its subsidiaries in February this year.

Bosasa’s board of directors, led by the now late Gavin Watson, filed an urgent high court application in March this year seeking to have the resolutions adopted by the board declared null and void.

Bosasa’s board, represented by advocate Mike Hellens SC, further argued before the high court that Bosasa was solvent – the only issue being a notice served by the banks informing Bosasa Operations, the main holding company, of their intention to close the company’s bank accounts.

In addition – the Bosasa board contended – Murray and the other liquidator’s appointment should be set aside, because they were appointed by the master of the High Court in Pretoria, while Bosasa fell under the jurisdiction of the Johannesburg Master.

It was the notice from the banks that directly led to the decision by the board, which was being advised by an unknown liquidation attorney, to place Bosasa and its subsidiaries under voluntary liquidation.

The liquidators for their part attempted to counter these arguments by introducing two liquidator’s reports, contending and setting out reasons why Bosasa was, in fact, insolvent.

But the high court refused to consider these reports on a technicality, with Acting Judge Joolam Ameer ruling in the Bosasa board’s favour earlier this year, setting aside the liquidation and giving rise to scenes of a triumphant Watson returning to Bosasa’s offices in Krugersdorp amid a group of jubilant staff who sang and hugged him.

The liquidators filed for leave to appeal Ameer’s judgment and further applied for an expedited hearing date in the SCA.

According to the heads of arguments filed by both parties, the issues remain largely similar to what was argued before the high court, with counsel for the liquidators intending to have judge Ameer’s ruling set aside.

The matter continues.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.