Judge orders ‘Malema companies’ to reveal ownership
The North Gauteng High Court has ordered three companies linked to Julius Malema to reveal their ownership details in the next five days.
Judge Sulet Potterill yesterday ruled in favour of City Press in a court challenge that began more than a year ago after On-Point Engineers, SGL Engineering and Gwama Properties refused to hand over their share registers to City Press.
She ruled that the refusal by the companies’ directors to hand over the details was “criminal conduct”.
Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust owns shares in On-Point – a tender-rich company from Polokwane that has scored massive government contracts from Limpopo state departments.
The former ANC Youth League leader is a former director of SGL – which was awarded construction tenders by Limpopo municipalities – and Gwama owns properties occupied by Malema’s relatives.
Malema’s business partner, Lesiba Gwangwa, is a director of all three companies.
The legal representatives for the companies argued that City Press did not have the right to access the share registers of private companies under the 2008 Companies Act.
But Potterill rejected this argument, ruling that the new act made the same provisions as the old 1973 legislation, which allows members of the public to inspect the ownership records of private companies.
“It is not only opportunistic, but in contempt of a court order for the respondents (the companies) not to show cause why the applicants would not be entitled to inspect and make copies of the security registers of the respondents,” Potterill ruled.
She said the new act “like its predecessor provides for access to company records”.
Even a person “who does not hold a beneficial interest in a profit company may inspect or copy the securities register or the register of directors,” the court ruled.
Potterill ordered the companies to make available their share records within five days and to pay the legal costs of City Press.