DEAR READER -
HOW TOP LAWYERS HELPED MEGA-RICH FRAME FAMILY ROB THE POOR
In April 2003 we revealed the scandalous intrigue behind the ostensible legal dispute between various members of textile magnate Philip Frame’s family and the trustees of his Will Trust: how the settlement agreement that was ultimately made an order of court in the case was part of an elaborate plan devised by eminent members of the legal profession – including Sydney Kentridge and Mervyn King – to get the court to endorse a scheme of bribery and fraud.
Frame’s already wealthy children, whom he had explicitly disinherited, succeeded in walking off with his R500-million estate – after they had silenced the trustees of the estate with a payoff of millions.
Frame’s real heirs were supposed to be the 30,000 poor textile workers for whose benefit he had established the Trust. Not only were they not represented in court; they probably remain unaware of the case and its dire implications for them.
By the time we got to telling the Frame story, it was history.
HOW TOP LAWYERS HELPED STEEL AND UNION BOSSES ROB THE POOR
In this issue we tell a story involving a very similar scheme. But this time it’s happening right now and this time it involves as much as R10-billion that rightfully belongs to a million former employees in the metal and engineering industries – who are not represented in court.
On the face of it, in the present court case Seifsa and Numsa are only seeking the court’s ruling on which law should determine how they distribute a massive “surplus” in the Steel and Engineering Industries pension funds.
Once again, the lawyers have contrived to exclude the parties with the largest interest – pre-eminently the million-odd former employees who were ruthlessly exploited by the pension fund trustees (most of them appointed by Seifsa and Numsa) and, secondly, the thousands of small-scale employers who were similarly forced to contribute billions to the funds – ostensibly for the benefit of their employees – but, in fact, to the secret advantage of their bigger competitors, and to fill union coffers.
Ultimately, of course, they are hoping to get the Supreme Court of Appeal to, in effect, endorse a deal that is morally outrageous and must be repugnant to public policy.
KEBBLE LEGACY LIVES ON IN LUNGA NCWANA'S BANK ACCOUNT
Lunga Ncwana – a prominent ANC Youth League (ANCYL) member in the Western Cape – was first mentioned in noseweek in April 2004 (nose55) in an article about Brett Kebble’s dodgy dealings in politics and business.
We reported that Ncwana had been the conduit for a controversial donation of R500,000 by Kebble to the ANC in the Western Cape.
Then, already, we suspected that the donation – piously explained by Kebble as a gesture of “patriotism and support for democracy” – was a mere hint of what he was secretly funnelling to the ANC.
Now we have learned of a further, massive, secret donation from Kebble to the ANC, also channelled through Ncwana’s bank account.
On 10 April 2004, a handsome R5-million arrived in Ncwana’s account with the Tokai branch of Nedbank. The notation on the electronic transfer read: RB Kebble.
On April 26, Ncwana then drew a cheque for R2.5m in favour of the ANC – clearly what Kebble intended. But what became of the difference?
Well, before Brett’s money launderer did anything else, he rushed off to Investment Cars, where he spent a quick R375,071. Obviously, when you’re delivering a cheque for R2.5 million to the ANC, you must be driving the appropriate vehicle.
He did also hand a cheque for R250,000 to Andile Nkuhlu, a member of the ANC Youth League National Executive Committee. The balance went to other friends that we shall name on another occasion.
Ncwana’s bank accounts were always awash with a regular flow of cash from Kebble, enabling Ncwana to keep himself and his friends in style.
The week before Christmas in 2003, Kebble kindly made another R200,000 deposit into Ncwana’s account. So, next day, natty Mr Ncwana took himself off to Jeff Dee Clothing, where he splashed out on a R39,960 new wardrobe.
Donations to the party were invariably signalled by a notably bigger transfer from Kebble. An example: on 6 August 2004 R500,000 arrived in Ncwana’s account from Kebble. Five days later, two cheques went out: R100,000 to the ANCYL, and R100,000 to Songezo Mjongile, another member of the National Executive Committee of the ANCYL.
A small curiosity: on 30 March 2004, after receiving R80,000 from Kebble, Ncwana paid R20,000 to Malusi Gigaba, an ANCYL executive member who, two months later, became deputy minister of home affairs. Maybe the deputy minister ought to tell us – if not Parliament – a bit more about that.
- The Editor
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