The president of the Black Business Council Dr Danisa Baloyi. Picture: Nicholas Rama

Johannesburg - The Black Business Council (BBC) has laid criminal charges of fraud and theft against controversial businesswoman and suspended president Danisa Baloyi, as mystery continued over the missing R5 million donation from the Airports Company of SA (Acsa).

BBC secretary-general George Sebulela yesterday said the lobby group laid the charges in against Baloyi and oil and gas company Merit Energy Johannesburg two weeks ago but suspended Baloyi on Thursday, pending investigations.

Sebulela said Baloyi had also been barred from conducting any BBC activities and vice-president Gilbert Mosena would act her position.

The donation was made in two instalments to Merit Energy earlier this year and was aimed at driving the council’s economic transformation agenda.

He said BBC did not know how the Cape Town-based company ended up receiving the R5m donation.

"The investigation will reveal all that,” Sebulela said. “What we know is that the owner of the company, Hawa Bibi Khan, is a member of BBC." 

Sebulela said the services of Dominic Ntsele, the chief fundraiser who is implicated in the matter, have also been terminated, adding that he was not a member of the organisation.

He dismissed questions of infighting and power struggles within the council, saying they enjoyed a “very good relationship”.

Sebulela warned, however, that “appropriate action” would be taken against those found guilty of wrongdoing, in order to maintain the BBC’s good reputation.

He refused to state what stiff sanction Baloyi could face should she be found guilty, saying: “Correct decisions will be made to make sure we maintain our reputation.”

Baloyi’s tenure in the business world has been dogged by controversies. In 2007, a Financial Services Board report on Fidentia Asset Management (FAM) accused Baloyi of being exposed to a conflict of interest in her role as a trustee on the board of the Living Hands Trust.

Baloyi was a director of Fidentia Holdings, the sole shareholder of FAM, the company managing the Living Hands Trust. Fidentia's curators uncovered an R8m loan Fidentia allegedly paid to her, which convicted fraudster and former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown denied had been written off, saying that it was a legitimate loan to help Baloyi capitalise her business assets.

BBC chairperson Sello Rasethaba said Acsa was doing its best to make sure the money was being paid into BBC. “I think they have enough evidence to prove that,” he said.

The BBC, which has been very influential in influencing government policy, also announced former chief operating officer and director of Sentech Kganki Matabane as the council’s chief executive, effective December 1.

-BUSINESS REPORT