Convicted fraudster Peter Ghavalas has admitted to paying R720 000 to Aubrey Wynne-Jones, a pension fund administrator, as an incentive for bringing the Sable Industries pension fund into a surplus stripping scheme but did not tell Cadac executive chairman Simon Nash or his financial director, David Southey.
This money was paid into a bank account in the Channel Islands.
Ghavalas also admitted under cross-examination to paying similar amounts to Wynne-Jones for each of the Datakor transactions and the Power Pack pension fund.
However, he contradicted himself by saying that he told Nash and Southey to get legal advice as to the legality of the transactions.
But more importantly, Ghavalas recanted his affidavit written by Tony Mostert, the provisional curator of the nine pension funds that are alleged to have been stripped of their surpluses.
He said he was threatened with 15 years imprisonment if he did not say the transactions were legal.
Ghavalas said the Financial Services Board (FSB) would not have granted the section 14 certificates for the merger of pension funds if it had known the aim was to strip the surpluses. He admitted this was fraudulent.
Nash and his company, Midmacor, are facing charges of theft and fraud at the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sitting at the Johannesburg Regional Court.
Nash is the only one out of about 40 people who has not settled with Mostert and paid back some of the money to the pension funds.
Ghavalas entered into a plea and sentencing bargain in 2009, which included a 15-year suspended sentence and a R6 million fine. He also had to hand over R18.6m to the FSB to distribute among pensioners short-changed as a result of the fraudulent schemes.
The hearing before magistrate Pieter du Plessis was postponed on Wednesday in order to allow Nash and his lawyers to meet with the deputy judge president of the North and South Gauteng High Courts, Willem van der Merwe, in order to set a date for a hearing of his trial within a trial on how his erstwhile attorney and that of the Cadac Pension Fund, June Marks, gave privileged information about Nash to the FSB and Mostert.
The hearing was set down for October 22 but has been cancelled.
The final affidavits are now being served and subpoenas are to be issued against 16 people, including Glynnis Breytenbach, of the National Prosecuting Authority; Jan D’Oliveira, the former Transvaal attorney general; Hawks investigator Jan Judeel; and Mostert.
Marks herself was ordered by the South Gauteng High Court in January last year to pay R2.38m plus punitive costs of about R500 000 to Mostert as the provisional curator of the Cadac pension fund.
Judge Haseena Mayat agreed with Mostert that Marks should not have invoiced the fund for various costs totalling R2.38m in five separate matters because the payments “did not relate to legal costs arising from legal matters involving the fund”.
The meeting between Marks, the FSB and Mostert allegedly took place on December 15 and 16 in 2010, in which Marks is accused of giving privileged information to assist Mostert in his civil claims.
Marks is alleged to have secretly taped the conversations and handed them over to Nash’s counsel when Mostert allegedly reneged on a deal he reached with her.
Mostert is said to have refused to pay Marks for providing assistance to the provisional curator in rectifying the affairs of the fund.
In his application, Nash claims the privileged information supplied by Marks compromises his right to a fair trial.