Cape Town - A company which had accused a Fidentia curator of misappropriating funds in an unrelated matter does, in fact, have a case against him that warrants a probe and the relief sought, the Supreme Court of Appeal has found.
Dines Gihwala is a curator in the Fidentia saga which involves misappropriated funds from trusts meant for widows and orphans.
Last month, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld an appeal brought by the company Grancy Property and ordered that independent directors be appointed to Seena Marena Investments - of which Gihwala and businessman Lancelot Manala were previously directors. The appeal dealt with whether or not Grancy had made out a case in the Western Cape High Court against, among others, Gihwala and Manala, and was entitled to relief.
Grancy was a minority shareholder in Seena Marina, while Gihwala and Manala were majority shareholders.
Gihwala and Manala were appointed directors in June 2003, and both resigned in 2011.
The Supreme Court of Appeal judgment said in September 2011 Grancy had brought an interim application seeking an order in the Western Cape High Court to compel Manala and Gihwala to appoint two independent directors to Seena Marena, and for these directors to investigate the affairs of Seena Marina from 2005. This was the year when Grancy had became a minority shareholder in Seena Marena.
The judgment said that, in its main founding affidavit, Grancy had alleged that Gihwala and Manala had acted unfairly and had, among other things, misappropriated various funds destined for Seena Marena shareholders, including Grancy.
Grancy alleged Gihwala and Manala had transferred funds from Seena Marena to themselves instead of the shareholders, and “breaches and wrongs” in 2010 financial statements included the payment of R5.5 million in directors’ remuneration for Gihwala and Manala for the 2010 financial year.
The judgment found that Grancy’s submissions that Gihwala and Manala’s denials “do not constitute real disputes of fact” were correct.