18 February 2007

Baloyi Brown Class Project

The Communist University first featured what was then thought of as simply a Fidentia scandal on February 3rd 2007 with Rob Rose’s report from the Business Day (Millions missing at Fidentia, says FSB).

Fifteen days later it is clear that the scandal is eating through the credibility of the entire pensions and benefits industry like unstoppable acid. This affair is not going to go away in a hurry and it is going to get much, much bigger.

There may be arrests and criminal charges. In fact it is amazing that when people run off with something like R1.4 billion and are accused and named in public, no arrests are made by the NPA, which absorbed the former Serious Fraud Office and the Asset Forfeiture Unit. Mervyn Bennun wrote a very good critique of the NPA (
Has the NPA lost its way?) for the Business Day last October. The NPA is only a sometimes, if-it-pleases, politically selective law enforcement agency.

So let us look at this matter for ourselves. First of all, from the CU point of view this is primarily about workers’ contributions and benefits and about the way their unions have protected their interests, or not. The question of the levy paid by employers to the SETAs (in this case TETA) is a far lesser matter from our point of view, even if the President of the Republic is making a fuss about it.

The principal trust in this case of missing workers’ money is the Mineworkers’ Provident Fund (MPF). This Fund has a web site and from the web site you can download a booklet (see the link below) explaining the Fund to its members. The booklet has a list of the trustees at the unstated date of publication. They included the former General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Gwede Mantashe, and the former Deputy President of COSATU, Joe Nkosi, who resigned his position in COSATU a few days before its 9th Congress in September, 2006, following allegations of spying.

The MPF Trustees at today’s date are given on another page of its web site, which is reproduced in the document linked below. Joe Nkosi is still a trustee. The new Deputy General Secretary of the NUM, elected at their National Congress in May 2006, Oupa Komane, is a now a trustee. The two whistle blowers are still there: Frans Mahlangu remains the Principal Officer and Collyn Manzana is still a trustee, according to the web site.

The MPF started another trust called Matco to adminster the benefits of the widows and orphans of deceased miners. The name was later changed to Living Hands Umbrella Trust (LHUT), at about the same time that this trust fell under the control of J Arthur Brown and Danisa Baloyi. Barry Sergeant records that:

“Since July 11 2006, LHUT has had three trustees, viz., Motsei Christine Komane, Danisa Baloyi, and Hjalmar Mulder. Until very recently, Baloyi was a director of Living Hands (which, most crucially, administers LHUT) and also a director of Fidentia Holdings.”

Prior to that date, Brown had been a trustee of LHUT. He was replaced by Komane.

More information on Baloyi and Komane can be found in the Moneyweb article “Brown’s Leading Ladies” linked below, together with some small details of Baloyi’s CV taken from the vast amount of information about this former US professor and BEE promoter and her huge number of directorships and business interests. Baloyi looks like a personification of the “class project” that the SACP writes about.

Moneyweb’s Barry Sergeant spells out clearly the danger to the whole pensions and benefits industry (which could collapse) and the cause, which is that shameless conflicts of interest have been permitted, not only in this case but across the board. See below. MPF Principal Officer Frans Mahlangu gave a frank and very revealing interview with the Weekender’s Gill Moodie yesterday. See below. Alec Hogg’s Moneyweb article shows that the Fidentia rip-off has not just affected NUM members, but also other workers’ families such as those of employee of South African Breweries. See below. Finally, the prodigious arrogance of the odious Brown continues. Julius Cobbett’s Moneyweb article shows up some of his lies. This guy Brown is poison. Yet he is only a punk. There are much bigger forces at play here than this embarrassing comedian.

Click on these links:

Mineworkers Provident Fund Member Booklet (107 KB PDF file)

Mineworkers Provident Fund, Trustees, 18 February 2007 (page, organogram and tables)

Brown’s leading ladies, Jackie Cameron, Moneyweb (1372 words)

Danisa Baloyi CV from Internet (extracts for Internet pages)

Fidentia success secret, Barry Sergeant, Moneyweb (842 words)

A raw deal, Frans Mahlangu interviewed by Gill Moodie, Weekender (1371 words)

SAB could not get its R80m, Alec Hogg, Moneyweb (615 words)

Lies, lies, lies, Julius Cobbett, Moneyweb (315 words)


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