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Is it a case of corruption or a systemic issue of unaccountability at the Master’s Office?

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Is it a case of corruption or a systemic issue of unaccountability at the Master’s Office? This question is critically important because the havoc in the insolvency industry is a direct consequence of the lack of fiduciary vigilance on the part of the Master’s office that has defaulted into a platform for crooked liquidators to make money by whatever means they deem fit.

On 23 January 2022, Luyolo Mkentane, wrote a story that was published by Business Day under the title: “Backlog at the Master’s Office cut significantly,” and whose full content can be found on this link: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2022-01-23-backlog-at-masters-offices-cut-significantly-department-says/.

Mr. Stephan Mahlangu, who works for the Department of Justice asserted boldly that the country’s 15 Master’s Offices had reduced significantly, the backlog with progress having been made in stabilizing the IT systems to deal with the caseload, which purportedly increased dramatically during the various stages of lockdown in 2021.

Mr. Mupasiri, the Director of the Public Policy division of the Justice Under Rule of Law (JUROL), who are working closely to ensure that creatures of a statute like the Master’s Office, deliver on the constitutional promise of the efficient, accountable, intended when they crafted laws like the Insolvency Act, said:

“In terms of s381(1) of the Companies Act 61 of 1973 that provides as follows: Control of Master over liquidators.-(1) The Master shall take cognizance of the conduct of liquidators and shall if he has reason to believe that a liquidator is not faithfully performing his duties and duly observing all the requirements imposed on him by any law or otherwise with respect to the performance of his duties, or if any complaint is made to him by any creditor, member or contributory in regard thereto, enquire into the matter and take such action thereanent as he may think expedient,” the control of the liquidators, who are also creatures of law was vested in the Master and not creditors whose interests by nature are varied and often conflicted.

What I have seen in relation to the Investigative Journalism exercise that our partner, IniAfrica.com online publication has done, the following shocking facts have emerged:

On 12 April 2022, a letter was addressed to the head of the Master’s Office at the Johannesburg Office, Mr. Pule, and copied to his Deputy in charge of Insolvency matters at the same office, but they both refused, neglected, and failed to acknowledge receipt of this email let alone respond to the issues raised therein.

> ——– Original Message ——–

> Subject: JUDICIAL CAPTURE INVESTIGATIONS – IDC

> Date: 2022-04-12 09:20

> From: [email protected]

> To: [email protected], [email protected]

Good morning Mr. Pule,

1. We are pursuing a story regarding allegations that your office was complicit in enabling the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) to use the Insolvency processes to defeat the ends of justice.

2. This is in relation to a matter under your reference number G134/2013.

3. There are questions that directly arise from the untested version that Mr. Theo Van Den Heever hijacked the administration of the estate at the instigation of the IDC.

4. I have looked at the bank statements of the insolvent estate that show a payment of R982,122 on 28 October 2011 with the reference as CREDIT TRANSFER 9245 CASHFOCUS IDC.

5. On 29 October 2011, an amount of R800,000 was paid from this account under your control with the reference as ELECTRONIC BANKING PAYMENT TO ADVOCATE EF DIPPENAAR LEF ADVANCE. Kindly provide an explanation of the nexus between the beneficiary of this payment from the bank of the insolvent estate.

6. On 29 October 2011, an amount of R100,000 was paid from the same account with the reference shown as ELECTRONIC BANKING PAYMENT TO THABILE FUHRMANN TRUST ACCOUNT.

7. The court records that we have been able to access, confirm that the insolvent estate of Salister was used for laundering money for the payment of legal fees to finance the litigation costs incurred in prosecuting IDC’s dispute in relation to another insolvent estate in which Mr. Van Den Heever’s firm, D & T Trust, was appointed as Liquidator resulting in D & T administering the affairs of Salister (a debtor to Aldolex Investments Pty Limited) and Aldolex.

8. The facts that we have confirmed that Maredi and Monyela were appointed by your office as the Joint Liquidators of Salister but outsourced the administration of the estate to D & T Trust.

I trust that the above background provides you with some background to this matter that is directly linked to Makume J’s judgment in the matter under Case Number 13276/14 which forms the subject matter of our investigations.

The question that we need your assistance on are as follows:

a. Is an insolvent estate permitted in terms of the applicable laws to borrow funds to pay for litigation costs.

b. We have invoked PAIA to obtain records confirming the version that was presented to the Courts on behalf of the insolvent estate by Messrs. Van Den Heever, Maredi, and Monyela that the litigation in relation to the dispute between Africa Resources Limited (ARL) and IDC over funds that were unlawfully withheld by the IDC was lawful and was funded by a loan provided to the estate by IDC and was repaid in preference to other creditors from the estate funds. It would be beneficial if you could urgently provide the correct record as it is alleged that Salister’s business was destroyed using insolvency as a weapon.

c. It appears that there is no dispute that Salister by refunding IDC the R982,122 that it had advanced paid for the IDC instigated litigation to the prejudice of the body of creditors and shareholders of the company. Were you aware that your office to the extent that you are familiar with the above facts, was complicit in enabling this fraud?

I would be grateful if you could respond to the above, by no later than 13 PM today to allow us to finalize the story that we are working on.

Should you require any clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours Faithfully,

After failing to obtain any response from the Joburg office, the editor of IniAfrica.com followed up with an email directed at the Chief Master in the hope that he was going to cause the responsible persons to this matter seriously that was based on concrete facts that one of the liquidators working in cahoots with certain liquidators and attorneys had in truth and fact orchestrated a fraudulent scheme to hijack the control of a company and instigated the demise of the company using the insolvency act as the weapon of choice.

The content of the said email is produced below:

> —–Original Message—–

> From: [email protected] <[email protected]>

> Sent: Tuesday, 12 April 2022 14:53

> To: Mafojane Martin <[email protected]>

> Subject: Fwd: JUDICIAL CAPTURE INVESTIGATIONS – IDC

Dear Adv Martin M Mafojane,

Good afternoon.

Please find below an email that I addressed to your colleagues this morning believing that they would have the courtesy of acknowledging the email and the importance of the contents against a backdrop of a divided society.

There are far too many people who are part of the Justice Under Rule of Law (JUROL) who have many stories to tell on allegations of your office playing the role of undermining the rule of law.

The facts set out below were concealed before a court of law.

We are pursuing this matter as one of many case studies to test if the alleged incestuous relationship between certain judges, liquidators, officials in the justice delivery system, creditors including development finance institutions and banks, and many others are part of a generally corrupt system is founded on solid facts.  We are ready to publish the article exposing the possible complicity of your Johannesburg office in protecting corrupt liquidators who engage in self-help schemes because it is alleged that the lack of openness is part of a corrupt value chain.

In this matter, two black liquidators were appointed by the Master but 100% of the administration work was performed by Mr. Theo Van Hen Heever.

One of the liquidators used to work in your office.

The key issue I need your response on is whether an insolvent estate can borrow funds without the knowledge and involvement of the Master for the sole purpose of financing a clandestine litigation effort whose consequence was the destruction of a company.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Regards,

The Chief Master, Mr. Martin Mafojane, responded cynically as follows:

On 2022-04-12 at 18:41, Mafojane Martin wrote:

Dear Mr. Mahlangu

Kindly follow the trail email and the attachment thereto. I refer the media inquiry to PEC because in line with the department’s prescripts because such media inquiry is handled by PEC.

I copied the requestor to note the referral of the inquiry to you and that he engages with your office further. I also just noted that Mr. Pule has also referred the inquiry to you.

So, Mr. P Smith -please note your inquiries are to be channeled through our PEC [Public Education and Communication] unit of DOJCD.

Regards

Adv Mafojane

Chief Master

DOJCD

The issue was intentionally and wilfully diverted to Mr. Mahlangu on the basis of the Chief Master’s capricious, arbitrary and unilateral determination that the inquiry should be channeled to the Public Education and Communication Unit of the DOJCD notwithstanding the fact that the inquiry was focused on facts and events that fell within the personal knowledge and involvement of officials that fall under the Chief Master’s oversight.

It is worth highlighting that the editor of IniAfrica.com promptly wrote to Mr. Mahlangu as follows:

—–Original Message—–

From: [email protected] <[email protected]>

Sent: Wednesday, 13 April 2022 09:08

To: Mafojane Martin <[email protected]>

Cc: Mahlangu Stephans <[email protected]>; Pule Leonard

<[email protected]>; Maphaha Reuben <[email protected]>

Subject: Re: FW: JUDICIAL CAPTURE INVESTIGATIONS – IDC

Good morning,

I acknowledge with thanks your response. Unfortunately, Mr. Pule did not advise me of the referral. I will engage Mr. Stephans with this urgent matter. I trust that by working together we can restore public trust and confidence in the entire justice administration system.

Much appreciated.

Regards,

The editor did point out that it was strange that Mr. Pule had referred the matter to Mr. Mahlangu without notifying the requester or even acknowledging receipt of the inquiry.

It is the understanding from the JUROL IJ team that to date both Pule and Maphaha have not bothered to respond suggesting the utter contempt of the project to ensure that this important office in the administration of justice is accountable.

The complaints that we have received so far in relation to the role of the Master’s public office in undermining the rule of law are supported by the cavalier attitude of the Chief Master supported by his juniors.

When we received the report from the editor of IniAfrica.com publication, it became self-evident that the referral to Mahlangu of the inquiry was part of a calculated move by the Chief Master to escape any culpability for the unprofessional attitude of his office and the contemptuous approach any quest for the truth in the affairs of his office.

It is JUROL IJ’s team’s understanding that the last communication received from Mr. Mahlangu on this important investigation was as follows:

[0:02 pm, 01/05/2022] mdmawere1: ——– Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: FW: JUDICIAL CAPTURE INVESTIGATIONS – IDC

Date: 2022-04-13 11:44

From: Mahlangu Stephans <[email protected]>

To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>

Can you please provide me with your full details?

It is our understanding that the details requested were provided but to date, no substantive feedback has been received from Mr. Mahlangu.”

The editor of Iniafrica.com had this to say: “We have followed up the matter with the liquidator in question who orchestrated the scheme using an estate that was was appointed by the Master to administer in the name of AR Projects Services Pty Limited (ARPS).

It is true and a fact that the government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) used public power to forcibly divest and deprive a number of companies that fell under the Africa Resources Limited (ARL) group.

An Administrator was appointed pursuant to a repugnant decree whose effect was to permit the extrajudicial appointment of this creature of the statute to assume the control and management of the Zimbabwean companies.

Relying on the authority, power, capacity, right, and the relationship between the GOZ and the targeted companies, a number of litigations were prosecuted in South Africa using the prestigious firm, ENSAfrica, as the agent of the GOZ to seek and obtain judgments in SA.

The existence and operation of the Cross Border Insolvency Act of 2000 prohibit any foreign representative of a liquidated company from using the SA courts to vindicate any claim yet in this case, Mr. Van Den Heever’s authority to act on the affairs of 3 SA insolvent estates was based on the unlawful recognition and enforcement of the rights that are specifically not provided for in the Act that regulates the appointment of a foreign representative that was appointed pursuant to non-judicial foreign proceedings.

The question that we sought answers from the Master is whether his office had jurisdiction to enforce the rights of a foreign state that were acquired through administrative fiat.

The SA constitution, SADC Treaty and Protocol, and international law prohibit the enforcement and recognition of foreign penal, confiscatory laws that offend public policy.

It is worth highlighting that in a landmark case that I launched against President Mnangagwa, who in terms of paragraph 72 of his affidavit in opposition to my application admitted that he was briefed on the facts and circumstances of the invasion of the SA judicial jurisdiction and the reality of the SA judges and officers of court willingly and wilfully enforcing Zimbabwe’s barbaric laws in SA with impunity and active support by the Master of the High Court.

It is disturbing that Messrs. Pule and Maphaha were informed of the direct and causal link between the Reconstruction Act. a law of Zimbabwe, and the appointment of crooked liquidators like Van Den Heever who colluded with the SA lawyers instructed by a private law firm, DMH Attorneys, the same law firm that President Mnangagwa uses not only as his personal lawyer but his legal advisors in his official capacity notwithstanding the legal limitations imposed by the Constitution from him being involved in the choice of private law firms to advise him on constitutional and legal matters.”

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When President Mnangagwa signed a document purporting to be his mate, see the reality?

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Hopewell Chin’ono’s Hypocrisy Exposed by Mr. Tinashe Mpasiri

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On 24 November 2022, Mr. Hopewell Chin’ono shared this tweet on his wall: https://twitter.com/daddyhope/status/1595758807392534528?s=20&t=YflO7bnB-32EN89x_0fPfQ with the following message directed to nameless and faceless South Africans:

“What we ask from South African citizens is for your President to STOP sanitizing Corrupt Rule in Zimbabwe and to STOP lying that our economy was destroyed by sanctions Listen to our President speak about the LOOTING in 1996.

Why doesn’t your president speak about free elections?”

The above mentioned tweet led to a conversation between Mr. Mpasiri, a member of the Justice Under Rule of Law (JUROL) and Mr. Chin’ono as set out on this link: https://heyzine.com/flip-book/d47b109920.html.

When asked why he had chosen to share a video of 1996 in support of his narrative that President Ramaphosa was guilty of sanitizing the corrupt practices by President Mnangagwa and his administration, Mr. Chin’ono responded as follows:

“ZPF leading Public officials operate with criminal business partners to loot public resources. For all intents and purposes sanctions are not the cause of Zim economic quagmire but ZPF looting public purse thru its puppet business partners from as far back as 1996?”

Advocate Matiza, a member of the Justice Under Rule of Law made the following observations and also a participant in the Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF) – Legal Literacy WhatsApp group, commended as follows: “It is clear from the above that by importing the video in which Mr. Mawere was featured with Minister Mnangagwa as he was known then, Mr. Chin’ono was openly alleging that Mr. Mawere was Mnangagwa’s then criminal business partner who was his accomplice in looting public resources of Zimbabwe.

However, when exposed by Mr. Mpasiri, a member of JUROL and BOAF, Mr. Chin’ono backtracked as set out below:

TINASHE MPASIRI v HOPEWELL CHIN’ONO
TM: Good morning Mr Chin’ono.
My name is Tinashe Mpasiri and I am a member of the Justice Under Rule Of Law (JUROL).
I am an avid follower of your posts and exposé and certainly wish that there were more
Zimbabweans like you, working towards a diverse, inclusive, progressive and prosperous future
for all.
I just wanted to greet you and share with you a post that was shared in a group I am a part of,
that you may be able to shed more light on it.
https://twitter.com/daddyhope/status/1595758807392534528?s=08
HC: Thank you. I did an interview last night on the issue. Feel free to share it in your group
Find it here;
https://twitter.com/daddyhope/status/1595853417355784192?s=46&t=6iHx7x2V4i8IiLZyIobk_g
TM: Thank you very much sir.
Just for your information, I belong to a group with officials from Wits University and questions
arose yesterday after your sharing of the video.
I have been asked to communicate with you so I get clarity, so we can share with a proper
context.
Your narrative on the tweet is about president Ramaphosa’s failure to act on corruption in
Zimbabwe, but the content of the video, appears nothing to do with the corruption angle.
Kindly assist with the link between the two.
HC: Good morning. Thank you for the question and you can share this audio in your group, you have my permission.
President Ramophosa has been at the forefront of saying incorrectly that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe has been caused by sanctions, which is not true.
The video that you are referencing, is meant to show that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe
started way before sanctions were imposed by western countries.
The economic crisis was authored by looting of public funds by ZANU PF elites and their business surrogates and the plunder of the country’s natural resources.
That video shows president Mnangagwa when he was Finance Minister in 1996, speaking at an event in Washington explaining how public funds have been looted.
So my point is that the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa shouldn’t be going around
misleading unsuspecting audiences, by saying that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe is being
caused by sanctions.
So for instance, president Ramaphosa talks about the social services pressures that are exerted by Zimbabweans coming into South Africa to use things like public services like health care. And all hospitals in Zimbabwe, all central hospitals in Zimbabwe, five of them, they only require 50 million to run without any shortages and that will make sure that Zimbabweans don’t have to cross the border into South Africa to seek public services that are provided through hospitals but these hospitals in Zimbabwe don’t have paracetamol.
The biggest hospital in Zimbabwe, Sally Mugabe hospital does not even have paracetamol, it
doesn’t have basic things like bandages and 50 million is only, that’s all we need to run our
central hospitals, but it’s not being availed to these central hospitals.
Now, ZANU PF by its own admission, says that 150 million USD worth of gold is being smuggled by ZANU PF elites and their surrogates every month. Which means what they steal in one month can run our central hospitals for 3 years.
That is the point that I making that president Ramaphosa is misleading unsuspecting audiences by saying that the crisis in Zimbabwe which is over spilling into South Africa, is being caused by sanctions, it’s not true it’s caused by sanctions. It’s caused by mis-governance. Thank you.
TM: Thank you very much Mr. Chin’ono.
This is very helpful and I believe we can build a shared understanding of only when we engage.
I will share your insights in my circles and beyond.
A number of questions emerge from your audio. By surrogates and having had the benefit to watch the video, who would be the surrogates and especially having regard to the fact that Minister Mnangagwa (as he were then), was speaking to a different subject matter involving empowerment and the role of government in financing it.
I could be wrong, but it is self-evident that he was talking about government programs whose
execution resulted in financial support being diverted to personal use.
Your response to the above would greatly assist.
HC: Surrogates were people like Mutumwa Mawere who was his front until they fell out.
Today surrogates refers to people like Kuda Tagwirei who has been a front for State looting
using his myriad of companies.

Here Mr. Chin’ono identifies Mr. Mawere as Mnangagwa’s front until they allegedly fell out.

This narrative is similar to the one peddled by Chin’ono’s friend and President Mnangagwa’s confidante and lawyer, Mr. Edwin Manikai as follows:

The message above was authored by Mr. Manikai on 27 March 2021 and was addressed to Mr. Fred Mutanda. The version peddled by Mr. Chin’ono is the same as Manikai’s version.
Mr. Manikai in the middle with Mr. Hopewell Chin’ono
Mr. Manikai in the picture with the visiting American delegation of Senators to Zimbabwe and his wife and Hon. Mliswa, Manikai’s best friend.
The SMM heist gang who authored and executed the divestment and deprivation of the control of 26 companies employing 20,000 people in 2004 using public power described as the precursor to the coup of November 2017 that was orchestrated by the same gang against Mugabe after successfully prosecuting the coup against SMM and related entities.

TM: Thank you for the honest response and obviously when I watched the video, I could not make the link between Mutumwa Mawere and the looting.
Perhaps you can share evidence supporting the allegation of surrogacy and the corruption
therefore in, so that I can afford both president Mnangagwa and Mawere to give their own
account of the precise nature of the alleged link between public power and private benefit.
Unfortunately, the video’s content does not establish the causal link which is vital in determining any dispute in an Independent and impartial manner.
HC: I didn’t say Mutumwa was corrupt.
I said that there were public funds that were doled out which amounted to looting.
You are misinterpreting what I said.
The video has nothing to do with Mutumwa being corrupt, it was meant to illustrate how public funds were looted way before sanctions.

Hopewell denies what he said before and claims the video that he intentionally and constructively shared to demonstrate the origins of Mnangagwa’s corruption had nothing to with Mawere being party to the looting of public funds.

TM: Thank you for clarifying and I am intrigued by your response.
You have asserted as true and fact that Mawere was Mnangagwa front and this aspect is not
evident in the video, suggesting that evidence exists that the alleged fronting you are talking
about, is supported by concrete evidence which is required in any bona fide process, seeking to hold people accountable for their conduct or misconduct. I would be grateful if you can identify in precise terms what Mawere front for Mnangagwa.

Mr. Chin’ono on SABC repeating the narrative of corruption as the cause of the Zim crisis.

Advocate Jack Matiza who was incensed by Mr. Chin’ono’s utterances remarked asked: “How can he be held responsible and accountable for social media post that damage another person reputation? My take is Hopewell is also guilty of selective amnesia he is accusing Ramaphosa of when it comes to sanctions, by stating that Mutumwa Mawere was an front of ED without providing any proof to that. Our self acclaimed award winning journalist and human right defender…ought to know that he who alleges must prove, is he not using or abusing social media or public media platforms to make unfounded statements without allowing the accused an opportunity to air their side of the story is itself an abuse of that person’s basic human rights?
To which Mr. Mawere responded as follows: “What if there exists no shared understanding on what are the obligations and rights of citizenship? What Hopewell could be saying is that information that he may possess is true and fact unless proved otherwise because he holds a privileged position in society as a journalist. In this case, affinity politics would compel him to conclude that because I shared the same platform with the current President of Zimbabwe this reality confirms a generally corrupt relationship. You can imagine what the true import of state capture and the legal consequences arising for its existence.”
Advocate Matiza by stating as follows: “There is certainly need to actively contribute to development of such shared understanding and common standards.”
Mr. Mawere commended as follows: “If asked to explain why the conversation is intriguing, what would be your response?

Mr Chin’ono genuinely believes that CORRUPTION is the elephant in the room.

He hold the view that he occupies a special and exceptional position in relation to the affairs of Zimbabwe.

He has a view on the 1996 video.”

When asked by Mr. Mawere, what identified questions arise from the hypocrisy inherent in Mr. Chin’ono’s open attack against Mawere and when confronted by Mr. Manikai, he quickly denied what he had stated as true and fact, Advocate Matiza responded as follows:

1. Abuse of the profession of journalism by an acclaimed journalist who has no respect for the truth in his narratives.

2.How should one define a human rights defender especially having exposed Mr. Chin’ono’s embarrassing performance by first alleging that Mnangagwa was using Mawere as a front only to backtrack and deny his own bold assertions.


3.In the face of hypocrites masquerading as award-winning journalists, what should be the best response to deal with divisive characters who have captured the profession and are using it as a weapon to advance their ulterior motives?

4. Section 2 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe imposes a binding obligation on every person to ensure that the rule of law is promoted, protected and upheld and in this case, what should be done by ordinary citizens to ensure that people like Mr. Chin’ono are accountable for their conduct which is inimical to the rule of law?

5. Does a person like Mr. Chin’ono know that he is also subject to the constitution and possesses no title or authority to maliciously defame other people. How best can he be held accountable for his reckless and dangerous assertions he makes under the cover that he is a journalist par excellence?

6. Does his conduct based on Mpasiri’s excellent interrogation not fall within conduct that is inconsistent with the constitution of Zimbabwe?

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Please take notice of this announcement by ZIMRA

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