Just Coal CEO Joe Singh, who faces accusations that he hijacked Touch Trading 204 belonging to his former business partner Ralston Smith, has finally admitted documents used to take over the company were forged but denies he had any hand in the crime.
Smith has since approached the courts alleging that the Mpumalanga billionaire businessman hijacked his company.
In an unexpected turn of events this week Singh admitted forged documents were used to ouster Smith as a director of the multi-million Rand golf estate in Emalahleni in Mpumalanga.
However, the self-proclaimed pastor who claimed last year that he donated half a million rand to the youth league of the ruling African National Congress with “expectations” it would help his company with an Eskom contract, denies any wrongdoing on his part. The Eskom contract has since been terminated.
Making the shocking revelation, Peet Erasmus, former COO of Just Coal and spokesperson for the Joe Singh Group of companies, said: “I can confirm that there is an affidavit from Mr. Jan Van Dyk who confirmed that he copied and pasted Mr. Smith’s signatures unassisted, onto the Finishing Touch and Lahleni Lakes documentation before submission”.
However, Erasmus insisted that neither himself nor Singh was involved in forging the signatures.
Van Dyk who is on record as saying Erasmus was his “mandator” in the transaction had earlier promised to respond to the allegations that he forged signatures on the documents in question but he failed to do so. He did not respond to emails on the matter.
In a sworn written affidavit seen by the African News Agency (ANA) Van Dyk said: “I had a copy of the signature of Mr. Smith that I got somewhere, and made a copy of it and cut it out, gummed it in place on a mandate for resignation which (is) an attachment on the CoR 39 form”.
The CoR 39 is a standard Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) notification form. It is a notice of change of directors.
In the affidavit, Van Dyk also admits that he altered a similar form and emailed it to the CIPC to “resign” Smith as a director in Lahleni Lakes.
This is the first time that Singh’s camp has publicly confirmed the fraud since the matter was taken to CIPC.
Commenting on the matter Singh said: “I, therefore, had nothing to do with Mr. Smith’s removal as a director of Finishing Touch or Lahleni Lakes. I accordingly welcome and support a criminal investigation by the South African Police Services into the fraud committed by Mr. Van Wyk”.
Singh recently lost a court case in which he had taken the CIPC to court to stop such an investigation. He is now appealing Judge Christelle Bassoon’s ruling.
“As Mr Singh has already admitted and confirmed the commission of the fraud either by himself or others that work for him; it is now crystal clear to all concerned that the Memorandum of Understanding and the Sale of Equity Agreements are null, void and unenforceable for his (Singh’s) failure to timeously fulfill the suspensive conditions,” said Smith.
Fraud cases have been opened against Singh, Erasmus and Van Dyk at the Witbank Police Station and Sinoville Commercial Crimes Unit. The cases were registered under Sinoville CAS 305/12/2015 – Fraud pertaining to Finishing Touch and Witbank CAS 961/02/2016 – Fraud linked to Lahleni Lakes.
The docket of the cases has since been submitted to the office of National Director of Prosecutions.