JOHANNESBURG – I am appalled by the lies and disinformation published in the Daily Maverick by Sam Sole of Amabhungane and repeated by others.
At no stage did I receive any personal benefit from shares in AYO Technology Solutions (AYO), nor did I receive any dividends from AYO. This can be confirmed with AYO as well as via my personal bank accounts.
If R900 000 was paid into my bank account as alleged, I would be the first to know. These are complete lies and disinformation.
For the record, herewith the following:
- Fedusa currently does not have an investment company through which it transacts for empowerment investments.
- Difeme Investments was used as a nominee to warehouse AYO shares until such time as Fedusa and/or its affiliates set up companies to take up the AYO shares. Unlike other unions with investment companies, Fedusa was considering how best to generate additional revenue streams. Until Fedusa and its affiliates were certain about the direction of establishing investment companies, these shares are warehoused with no risk to Difeme.
- In numerous meetings and correspondence since the allocation of 11 million shares to Difeme Investments, I had engaged with Fedusa affiliates, such as the Public Servants' Association (PSA), to arrange for the allocation of these shares to these affiliates.
- My motivation was simply that these shares would assist Fedusa affiliates in building worker participation in the economy, that the affiliates would be financially strengthened and that workers would have representation on the board of the largest black ICT company in the country, AYO.
- I reject with contempt the insinuation by Sole and others who have repeated these lies that I intended to benefit personally from these shares.
- I am proud to be a non-executive director of AYO representing the interest of more than 2.5 million workers in South Africa today. My appointment to the AYO board was done with the full support and nomination of Fedusa.
- AYO believes in black economic empowerment, an inclusive economy and supports BEE initiatives which include the participation of workers in this economy.
- The decision of Fedusa and/or affiliates to establish investment companies and take up these shares is entirely up to them. My role was to facilitate and ensure that they are given this opportunity. I have done this according to my discussions with these affiliates. I hope that they take up these shares so that they can benefit in the interest of workers from the growth of the share price and the dividends. It would be sad if, due to the negative media, which is defamatory against AYO, it is used to influence these affiliates not to take up these shares at the cost of workers not benefiting from shares.
- Like other trade unions, I hope that Fedusa and its affiliates will take up this generous offer by AYO since it is the workers who will benefit from the value of AYO shares and from the dividends that will be received. However, Fedusa and its affiliates might not wish to take up this offer as a result of the negative media. If this is so, I will consult with AYO and recommend that these shares be made available to the workers directly so that they could benefit from the investment in AYO.
I have spent my entire life as a man of integrity, as someone who has fought for workers’ and employees’ rights. I have fought against corruption and I continue to do so.
I am shocked that such disinformation and deliberate misrepresentation of my position in the facilitation of AYO shares to workers is being misconstrued.