Allegations of dissension in the ranks of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) Limpopo are summarised in documents serving as proof of protracted discord reportedly instigated by five years of power play, but more alarmingly over a deal involving a Gauteng investment and equitable shares seemingly not being channelled in the direction of Limpopo beneficiaries.
The current situation, which is evidently being characterised by ongoing court processes and counter claims, has almost forced the structure on its knees, claimed sources within Nafcoc Limpopo ranks who lamented a battle that has been dogging the structure for half a decade now. Following up on the leads brought to Polokwane Observer’s attention led to the discovery of an overwhelming paper trail pointing at a reported 54 related cases in court.
The sources raised concern about several related issues, among which the lack of transfer of funds to the Nafcoc Limpopo Investment Trust (NLIT) by Silver Vanity Investments (Pty) Ltd, a company established in 2011 as special purpose vehicle set up as an investment arm of Nafcoc.
Happenings of past half decade
Sketching happenings of the past, the sources pointed to the fact that in the past Nafcoc had bought shares in a hotel concern through the established company of Nafhold, which in turn established Nafcoc Investment Trust. A further decision was taken to encourage Nafcoc provincial structures to start investment trusts that extended to sectors, one of the sources explained. The provincial trusts structures subsequently agreed to establish an entity in the form of Silver Vanity Investments Pty (Ltd), of which they are shareholders represented by appointed trustees whose names must appear on letters of authority sanctioned by the Master of the High Court. It was pointed out that no individual could participate as director or proxy shareholder of Silver Vanity Investments without being an appointed trustee. The trustees of Silver Vanity Investments had to be assigned by executive committees of the respective Nafcoc provincial structures, the executive committees themselves having to be elected by Nafcoc provincial councils which would have happened at an annual general meeting (AGM).
They mentioned that a 2010 decision to convert R1,2 billion of shares in the hotel group into cash through Nafhold had materialised, which was supposed to benefit the various trusts that also included Nafcoc Limpopo Investment Trust. Nafcoc Limpopo decided to put the money for shares owed to them in a pool, which bought a building at Gallagher Estate. It was learnt that the fact that Silver Vanity Investments is the owner of the building housing the Pan African Parliament at Gallagher Estate in Midrand generating an estimated monthly rental of more than R2 million from a lease agreement that reportedly runs on a month-to-month basis without any of the money finding its way to beneficiaries in Limpopo through Nafcoc Limpopo Investment Trust, is adding to growing aggravation. The amount was alluded to in an affidavit by Gilbert Mosena who is Chief Executive Officer of Silver Vanity Investments. A source emphasised that the rental to be channelled to Silver Vanity Investment’s business account was supposed to be distributed equitably into the accounts of the relevant trusts, but that the monies were still owed to Nafcoc Limpopo Investment Trust.
It was the contention of the sources that Mosena and Isaac Masekwameng, who were initially elected into the positions of Nafcoc Limpopo Deputy President and President respectively in 2009 by a then united Nafcoc Limpopo Council, in terms of the amended 2008 Constitution were later nominated as trustees of the Nafcoc Limpopo Investment Trust but they were, however, not re-nominated as trustees again in 2012.
Minutes from a meeting on 22 June 2012 confirm the absence of Mosena and Masekwameng from an elective process characterising an AGM of Nafcoc Limpopo attended by 196 members. Sello Kgolane was the only name nominated for presidency that day and was elected in absentia. The names of Mosena and Masekwameng were not on the attendees’ list of 22 June 2012.
Questions over Nafcoc Limpopo tenure
Ever since Mosena has purportedly been given the position of CEO of Silver Vanity Investments and Masekwameng director of the board of the company, highlighted the sources. “When their tenure as office bearers of Nafcoc Limpopo came to an end in (March) 2014 they refused to vacate the positions.” This, the sources added, contributed to discontent among Nafcoc Limpopo members. Documentation presented to Polokwane Observer shows that the Master of the High Court validated the names of new trustees presented to the court in March 2014.
State of Lim membership
A copy of the minutes of a meeting of the Nafcoc Limpopo Executive Committee on 22 June this year contains reference to the state of membership of which most have expired and which called for a renewal of such membership coupled with the revitalisation of branches, sums up the current scenario. At the same time it was noted that a parallel structure “led by the opposition” had opened an office in Biccard Street in Polokwane and that it was possibly recruiting members. At the same time a resolution was passed and adopted to reappoint the current trustees based on the appreciation of current court actions being pursued in the Pretoria High Court, being Sello Kgolane, Neo Mkhabela, Themba Maluleke, Sana Mukoma and Sello Mahlo.
The sources were adamant in alleging that Mosena and Masekwameng were seen to be fraudulently representing Nafcoc Limpopo Investment Trust within Silver Vanity Investments all along. They demanded that Mosena explained what was done with the rental collected on behalf of and supposed to have been equitably distributed to the structures. Raising the issue that Nafcoc Limpopo was almost on its knees, they further questioned how far they could go without the availability of resources to run a structure in the name of one of the largest business chambers in South Africa. In conclusion the sources raised the opinion that there is a dire need for rebuilding Nafcoc Limpopo after a fluctuation in membership figures.
When approached for comment Mosena sketched a version of happenings of the past five years by explaining that a legitimate structure was running Nafcoc affairs in Limpopo, led by Masekwameng as Chairperson. He confirmed that he was holding the position of Deputy Chairperson, Robert Livhoyi as Treasurer and Regina Shai as Secretary with other executive committee members as heads of various sectors.
Mosena raised the issue of a court ruling on 3 November 2015 in their favour, resulting in them being declared the legitimate Nafcoc Limpopo structure. As directed by court a meeting was advertised to and held on 26 January 2016 to present audited financials and re-appoint trustees of the Nafcoc Limpopo Investment Trust, according to Mosena. He disputed that Nafcoc Limpopo was being forced on its knees.
He confirmed that the legitimate Nafcoc Limpopo structure has been receiving the funds generated from the rental of the Pan African Parliament building every month. He said the structure was fully operational, had offices and members, was part of the Black Business Council and throughout has been receiving operational and discretionary financial support to legitimate and affiliated Nafcoc structures from Silver Vanity Investments.
He was of the opinion that the individuals making the claims had created a parallel Nafcoc structure in Limpopo and simultaneously argued that they were not Nafcoc members. “These people are time wasters and are confusing everybody, the government and investors included,” he concluded.
Masekwameng was not available for comment.
Story: YOLANDE NEL