Media24 acts to recover looted millions

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Greg Orsmond

Durban - The estate of a former Media24 boss has been placed under provisional sequestration by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in an effort to recover more than R10 million he irregularly paid from the company’s accounts into his own.

Judge Rishi Seegobin granted an order on Wednesday placing the estate of Gregory Rayen Orsmond under provisional sequestration.

Orsmond has until April 24 to show why a final order should not be granted.

In an affidavit, the executive manager of Media24, Abduraghman Mayman, said Sky Blue Media, an entity of Media24, had a liquidation claim against Orsmond for more than R10m.

Sky Blue Media is based in Pietermaritzburg and is an owned subsidiary of the Natal Witness Printing and Publishing Company.

On June 7, 2013 Sky Blue Media issued a summons against Orsmond on the grounds of gross negligence.

The Pietermaritzburg High Cour found he had abused his position as director by authorising unlawful, irregular and undocumented payments by Sky Blue Media to entities in which he had a personal interest and into bank accounts he controlled.

The order was granted against Orsmond on August 30 for R10 119 178, but he failed to make any payment to Sky Blue Media.

On October 16, the sheriff of the high court attached multiple movable assets at the Orsmond residence in Shelley Beach.

However, certain assets had to be removed from the list after affidavits were received in which claims of ownership of the assets were made.

This meant that a sale of execution was held with only certain uncontested movable assets in January.

The gross realised from the sale was just over R60 000.

After costs, the amount was R50 400.

The balance of the debt is owed by Orsmond.

Mayman said the extent of Orsmond’s movable and immovable assets were unknown. He submitted that there should be an inquiry into Orsmond’s assets.

Orsmond had interests in several companies. These included GOG Consulting and Rapid Dawn cc, in which he had a 100 percent membership interest, and Victory Trading cc, in which he had a 40 percent membership interest.

He was also a director of eight companies:

* Capro (Pty) Ltd.

* Drendy Investments (Pty) Ltd

* Lincroft Books (Pty) Ltd

* Fever Newspapers (Pty) Ltd (Media24)

* Izimpodo Communications (Pty) Ltd (Media24)

* Midlands Media (Pty) Ltd (Media24)

* Sky Blue Media (Pty) Ltd (Media24)

* Natal Witness Printing and Publishing Company (Pty) Ltd (Media24)

* Zululand Media (Pty) Ltd (Media24)

The Media24 group has taken steps against Orsmond for his actions. He was removed as director of six Media24 companies.

A process is under way to strip Orsmond of his shares in the Fever newspapers group.

“In the light of the allegations of misconduct and misappropriation on Orsmond’s part, it would be to the financial advantage of his creditors that a sequestration be granted,” Mayman said.

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