South Africa's Corporate Sector Can Ill Afford To Throw Stones From Its Glasshouse - Part 2.
By Udo W. Froese
"Ruthless, dishonest businessmen in South Africa have stolen assets of Randgold to the value of R21 billion. Subsequently, others have prevented the minorities of the company from obtaining what is rightfully theirs. I cannot stand idly by and permit this to happen," retired, former senior stockbroker at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and director of the mining company, Randgold, Johann Blersch, stated in his public address.
The Banks And The Mining
Companies Accused Of Theft.
Blersch explained in a report
published on March 13, 2007 in
South Africa's daily business newspaper,
Business Day, "Randgold
is the largest creditor of
Johannesburg Consolidated Investments
(JCI). The amounts owed
by JCI to Randgold may exceed
JCI's net asset value."
The above was executed during
the time of Brett Kebble, from September
1997 to August 2007.
Under the watch of the various
"controlling organs" such as the
bank ombudsman, the various
chambers of banks, of business,
commerce and industries and
mines, under the self-appointed
captains of industries as well as
under the department of finance
under former minister Trevor
Manuel and the former head of
South Africa's Reserve Bank, Tito
Mboweni, billions were stolen and
Johann Blersch recorded, "In
essence Brett Kebble stole from the
one entity (Randgold) to fund the
other three entities (JCI, Western
Areas and himself and his family).
Investec Bank received stolen
Randgold Resources shares from
JCI, which Investec then sold. As
bankers to the Kebble Empire,
Investec should have known that
these shares were stolen."
"Investec retained part of the
proceeds of these shares in settlement
of its loans to JCI. The balance
was paid to JCI. From 1999
to 2005 Brett Kebble stole the bulk
of Randgold's portfolio and sold
the shares for R1 900 million. Unchallenged
forensic reports show
that the initial recipients of the R1 900 million were (a) JCI R900 million; (b) Western Areas R500 million;
(c) The Kebbles R400 million
and (d) Investec R100 million",
He further states, "The shares
stolen from Randgold were sold
for R1.9 billion. By the end of
June 2010 the claim based on the
Roman Dutch law against thieves,
'condictio furtiva', had reached
R21 billion. When Barry
Seargant's book on the Kebble
collusion was published, this figure
had reached R26 billion and
now stands at R30 billion."
Author Barry Seargant documents
Kebble's theft in his book
"The Kebble Collusion". "It is the
well-researched documentary of
the world's biggest unprosecuted
fraud. In today's terms it would
amount to R30 billion. And, the
cast is stellar: top financial institutions,
leading bankers, a world
where every other player is an
attorney, a world where Brett
Kebble was king."
"It is incredible that non of the
South African regulatory authorities
has taken any effective action
and that no prosecutions have
taken place," observes Johann
The Assault On The Rand.
"In 2001 South Africa was hit
by a financial crisis of epic proportions:
the rand collapsed,"
author, Barry Sergeant in his book
"The Assault On The Rand".
"During 2001, the rand depreciated
from around R7.60 to the dollar
at the beginning of the year to
over R8.00 for the first time ever
during the second quarter. And the
pace of depreciation increased:
- R8.52 to the dollar on 11 September;
- R9.03 at the end of September;
- R9.44 at the end of October;
- R10.27 at the end of November;
- R13.84 on 21 December."
"The 21 December rate was an
all-time low against the dollar and
the rand has never fallen to that level
since", wrote Sergeant in his book,
"The Assault on the Rand."
Sergeant commented, "For South
Africa, it specifically meant that its
mining exports earned more rands.
Almost all commodities are quoted
and traded in dollars. South Africa's
mines experienced a boom in revenue
– in rand terms."
The popular causes for the rand's
woes given by commentators in the
academia, the economy and the
media were then the Argentinean
debt crisis; the Zimbabwean situation;
the slow pace of privatisation
in South Africa and the Aids pandemic
in the country, the author explained.
"These issues were priced into
the market on a gradual basis over a
considerable period of time and are
now muddying the waters when
analysing the demise of the rand.
However, the use of dubious financial
methods undermining the
value of the currency was the core
of the problem."
Barry Sergeant further published,
"On 21 December 2001
DEUTSCHE BANK issued a market
commentary in their bulletin
titled 'Capitulation of our rand view
finally!' Interestingly during the
same period the 'SUNDAY
TIMES' carried a headline article
concerning 'the big bang' approach
to exchange control and consequent
free fall of the rand."
"Market jitters at that stage set
in and the rapid downward spiral of
the rand began reaching an all-time
low of R13.84 to the US dollar on
21 December 2001."
The former CEO of the South
African Chamber of Business
(SACOB), Kevin Wakeford, who
blew the whistle,further found out
that DEUTSCHE BANK was not
alone in this covert treasonous action.
Other companies mentioned
were Nampak, M-Cell and Billiton.
DEUTSCHE BANK currently
owns 7% of BHP Billiton.
All of this came out when recalled
president Thabo Mbeki had
appointed the Rand Commission
of Inquiry under labour judge
Myburgh. Kevin Wakeford had
pushed Mbeki to act.
It was revealed that
DEUTSCHE BANK was the
common denominator during the
Rand Commission's hearings. The
corporates were SASOL, M-Cell,
Nampak and BHP Billiton. This
scam developed under the watch
of the then governor of the Reserve
Bank, Tito Mboweni; the then
Minister of Finance, Trevor
Manuel and his wife, Maria Ramos.
THE GHOSTS OF THE
The mass theft and laundering
of taxpayers' money of the mid-
1970s up to 1994, also known as
Information Scandal, or Infogate,
under the former apartheid regime,
should never be forgotten. It was
estimated then that some R800 billion
of taxpayers' funds left South
Besides the former structures of
the Reserve Bank, many Western
European banks were directly and
That money has been laundered
so well and split into numerous trust
accounts that it would not be traceable.
By now it would be earning a
lot of interest.
The question often raisedis –
would such money not also be used
to fund certain covert operations,
funds and foundations to mislead
South Africa from outside?
During the banking crisis of the
1980s, Bankorp (ABSA) swindled
some R14 billion, with the subsequent
provision for it in its accounts
to repay. That money has never
been claimed back.
Cartel's Criminal Collusion.
As if this was not enough. South
Africa's construction cartel was
found guilty of 'criminal collusion'.
South Africa's national financial
daily, 'Business Report', published
on 26 June 2013, "The collusion to
rig bids and tenders for the 2010
World Cup stadium build
programme was just the tip of a
monstrous iceberg of fraud and deceit
by construction firms including
most prominent JSE-listed companies."
COSATU publicly accused the
executives of the country's construction
cartel of treason, as they
abused public funds, in other
words, taxpayers' money for their
The construction industry's decision
makers held secret meetings
during which it decided to inflate
the price of tenders, allocating contracts
among themselves, adding billions
to the cost of the South African
National Roads Agency's
Gauteng freeway improvements,
other road schemes, the stadiums,
electrical and instrumentation
It came to light when the Competition
the construction industry's bid rigging
on 300 projects valued at R47
billion. R28 billion related to public
sector contracts and R19 billion
had gone to private sector work,
'Business Report' documented.
According to the Competition
Commission's report, some 15
constructions companies had
agreed to penalties collectively
amounting to R1.46 billion in contravention
of the Competition Act.
'Business Report' writes further,
"In terms of the 2010 World
Cup stadium agreement, during, or
about in 2006 Grinaker-LTA,
WBHO, M&R, Group Five,
Concor, Basil Read and Stefanutti
Stocks met twice and reached a deal
for the construction of the stadiums."
Mafia-Style Collusion For
Price-Fixing To Starve The
The fishing group, Oceana, admitted
guilt to the Competition
Commission for a long list of pricefixing.
Oceana then agreed to pay a
fine of R35 mill.
- South Africa's competition
watch merely proposed to the
mighty SASOL to fine the oil and
gas company with 10% of its turnover
for charging excessive prices
for polypropylene and propylene.
- The Competition Commission
then reached a settlement agreement
with SASOL, finalising the abuse
aspect of a fertiliser case.
- The Competition Commission
raided the offices of South African
Airways (SAA), Mango Airways
and the Airlines Association of
Southern Africa to investigate collusion
- SAA and SA Express denied
all allegations of price-fixing around
the Football World Cup in 2010.
- The mobile phone operators,
Vodacom and MTN seem to be
involved in price-fixing and have
been probed. The outcome as
specified by the Competition
Commission was that the prices
for airtime and data bundles would
be drastically reduced, despite both
companies wailing programmes.
- The Competition Commission
further raided the offices of the exclusive
cement cartel to investigate
its collusion on price-fixing. A final
outcome is still pending.
- The exclusive sugar cartel in
South Africa and the Southern African
(SADC) seems also to be under
the watch of the Competition
Commission. Sugar prices in the
SADC are by far higher than in
most sugar producing regions.
- Bakeries and milk producers
colluded to fix prices with subsequent
drastic price hikes in order
to make huge profits while starving
- The Competition Tribunal investigated
Pioneer Foods, which
then accepted charges of price-fixing.
- Foodcorp paid a fine of R45
mill to the Competition Commission
after it had been found guilty
and accepted the verdict of pricefixing.
- Clover and Ladysmith Cheese
have been found guilty of collusion
to fix prices.
The above demonstrates that
many a South African private sector
company's corporate greed has
no space for humanity.
The poor masses have been
dumped in desperate poverty and
starvation. This is a crime against
humanity. The fines the above
corporates pay, are ridiculously
low and have not achieved much.
Meanwhile, the investigated reports
and the admissions of guilt
have not made it to the front pages
and carry no sensation.
It is incredible that the Competition
Commission has not been
tasked with the investigation into
the continuous collusion of the private
sector and its devastating results.
Please don't shine the light too
bright on South Africa's private
sector …that seems the corporate
media'sapproach in stark contrast
to its badgering of the ANC and its