Probe into insolvent Signature Life hotels

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iol travel march 26 nt Docklands ext night2 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS The Docklands Hotel in Durban.

Durban - Hotel management company Signature Life Hospitality has been wound up and now a liquidator will begin probing allegations that money was misappropriated.

However, in a last-minute affidavit submitted to the Durban High Court last week, former CEO Alan Vels denied allegations that he or his co-director, Donald Pitt, were involved in a “pyramid scheme”.

The allegation was made by Docklands Hotel manager James Murray in his affidavit in support of the liquidation application launched last month.

Murray, who claimed Signature Life owed Docklands about R2 million, said a liquidator needed to take control, preserve documentation and interrogate direction to determine “where did the monies go?”

He said Signature Life had unlawfully “mingled funds” between the various businesses it operated.

He alleged that the company had misappropriated millions of rand this way, and yet it did not own any fixed assets or assets of any value.

Last week when the matter came before the court again, Vels submitted a “for the record” affidavit in which he admitted that Signature Life was insolvent and that he had been responsible for placing the company in voluntary liquidation.

“However, I specifically deny that we were involved in a pyramid scheme and record that these allegations are not only untrue and defamatory but constitute an unwarranted and vitriolic attack on us in our personal capacities.”

He said there had also been non-disclosures to the court regarding the so-called indebtedness of Signature Life to Docklands and another hotel, Hotel 54 on Gordon. - The Mercury

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