Bosasa liquidators to appeal ‘unprecedented’ reversal ruling

Dudu Myeni (far left) with Jacob Zuma and Bosasa executives on a visit to one of their plants. Picture: Facebook

The company was handed over to liquidators voluntarily, only for Bosasa to then change its mind. Liquidators say it’s nonsense.

News broke on Friday morning that Bosasa liquidators intend to appeal a ruling that they must hand the company back to its director.

They submitted their notice of intention to appeal yesterday, news channel eNCA reports.

The High Court in Johannesburg found on Thursday that a board decision by facilities management company Bosasa to place it and its many subsidiaries in liquidation was not valid, reversing all the decisions taken.

The liquidators have criticised the judgment, calling it unprecedented. Bosasa’s directors had claimed that they’d been given poor legal advice and hadn’t understood what they were getting into when they agreed to liquidation.

They claimed to have been misled and said the meeting that agreed to liquidation hadn’t been properly constituted.

The company wanted the court to dismiss the liquidators, Ralph Lutchman, Tania Oosthuizen and Cloete Murray, who had been appointed to facilitate the process.

The liquidators will be claiming that the meeting agreeing to liquidation was indeed valid.

The liquidators were given 12 hours to give back control to Bosasa’s directors. It’s understood that Bosasa are particularly opposed to Cloete’s involvement.

The hugely controversial African Global Operations – better known by its previous name Bosasa – approached the High Court on Tuesday morning to reverse the liquidation process it had initially embarked on voluntarily.

The Citizen reported in February that some of South Africa’s major financial institutions had formally notified African Global Operations that they would be terminating the company’s accounts, according to a statement from the company.

The banks reportedly cited reputational risk as their reason for cutting ties.

Bosasa’s statement at the time confirmed that they would be applying for voluntary liquidation after banks had sent them formal notification of the closure of their accounts.

But the company then submitted an affidavit as part of an application to reverse their voluntary liquidation.

The urgent application was filed at the High Court in Johannesburg last week and the matter was heard on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Bosasa dropped by banks, forced to apply for liquidation

The affidavit argued that the decision to liquidate was taken as a result of bad advice received from a consultant and that the company’s liquidation did not follow proper processes.

Explaining their initial decision to liquidate, the company claimed their treatment by banks was “occasioned by negative media reports” which caused them “extensive reputational damage”

The statement further stated that their decision to liquidate had nothing to do with the group’s “liquidity status, financial stability, operational performance or growth forecasts. On the contrary, the group is both factually and commercially solvent”.

(Compiled by Charles Cilliers and Daniel Friedman. Additional reporting by ANA)

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