[DEBATE] : (Fwd) ANCorruption: Macozoma 'destroys LibLife's good reputation' (hah)
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sun May 25 05:14:41 BST 2008
Macozoma feels the heat
Simpiwe Piliso Published:May 24, 2008
A Multimillion-Rand payoff to the ANC has come back to haunt businessman
The politician-turned-serial empowerment dealmaker has been interrogated
over his involvement in the political party funding scheme that enabled
the ANC to pocket R9-million following an empowerment deal involving
Liberty Group’s asset management unit, Stanlib.
In the past two weeks Macozoma, who serves as Stanlib’s chairman, has
been subjected to a barrage of questions from several shareholders,
including activist Theo Botha, who investigated the controversial
Macozoma did not attend the Liberty Holdings annual meeting at a
Johannesburg legal firm in Sandton on Wednesday — but did face a
grilling at Liberty Group’s annual meeting a week earlier.
Botha asked for permission for shareholders to gain access to all
documents and financial records pertaining to the 11 broad-based
community organisations — under Safika Asset Management Empowerment
Trust and Andisa Broad Based Empowerment Trust — that were beneficiaries
of the empowerment deal.
In March, the Sunday Times revealed how an audit into the ANC’s finances
had exposed the involvement of Macozoma, one of the country’s top
businessmen, in diverting funds from the empowerment deal to the ruling
Macozoma was called to account by the ANC for a R9-million payment to
the party following a R1.5-billion empowerment deal involving Standard
Bank, Liberty Life and Stanlib.
At the time, Standard Bank, which is scheduled to hold its annual
meeting next week, reportedly said it would “look into” the allegations.
The banking group controls 58% of Liberty Holdings, which in turn owns
52% of Liberty Life.
On Friday, Macozoma’s office said he was out of the country and could
not be reached for comment. When reached on Friday night he declined to
However, Business Times has established that among the questions
Macozoma refused to answer to at last week’s meeting included:
ýWhich of the two trusts that scored from the deal and representing 11
broad-based community organisations, paid the R9-million to the ANC?; and
ýWhen and how did Macozoma’s Safika Holdings increase its shareholding
in Quantum Leap Investments from 51% to 85%?
Quantum Leap is an empowerment consortium formed to hold Stanlib shares
for Macozoma’s Safika Holdings and the two trusts that represent 11
In January last year Liberty bought back the Stanlib shares owned by
Standard Bank and Quantum Leap for R1.6-billion, settled partly in cash
and partly in Liberty shares.
Quantum Leap received R629.6-million of the proceeds in shares and cash,
to be split proportionately with two trusts that represent the 11
broad-based community organisations and companies.
Concerned shareholders this week questioned whether the trusts had
received their share of the profit from Quantum Leap since Safika
Holdings had increased its shareholding in the consortium from 51% to 85%.
Macozoma, who holds an effective 20% in Safika Holdings, could have seen
his investment company pocket more than R400-million, if he increased
his shareholding in Quantum Leap prior to the sale.
However, since Macozoma did not attend or answer, it is not clear when
he increased Safika’s stake in Quantum Leap and what impact that had on
the profits due to the trusts.
Business Times has established that Liberty Holding’s board this week
also declined to respond to questions about when and how Macozoma had
increased his shareholding in Quantum Leap.
Botha, who has gained prominence for exposing board members who act out
of profit rather than protecting the long-term interests of
shareholders, said this week that following claims of Macozoma’s
involvement in the political funding scandal, shareholders were
unsettled about Macozoma’s low-key transaction.
Botha argued that there was not enough transparency in certain dealings
involving the Liberty Group and Liberty Holdings.
“How can anyone want to do business with this company when the company
can’t even be transparent with its shareholders?” Botha said after the
meeting this week.
“The empowerment vehicle Quantum Leap was set up to assist broad-based
communities and not make payments to the ANC. It also seems strange that
Mr Macozoma increased his shareholding through Safika [Holdings] in
Quantum Leap to 85%.
“This board of directors might not realise it, but you are in the
process of destroying the good reputation of this company.”
The Liberty Holdings board also declined to respond to the questions
around the issues raised involving Macozoma at the AGM this week.
Botha said shareholders have been asking Stanlib for documents
pertaining to the empowerment transaction and Quantum Leap to scrutinise
the entire deal, without success.
“If things are above board, there should be nothing to hide and
financial information should be made available,” he added.
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