Cape Town - The trial of AG Cellular (AGC) founder Anthony Goodman on Thursday took a major turn after it was revealed in court by a State witness that he was forced to sign a statement under duress in order to implicate Goodman.
This was part of Richard Osborne’s testimony in court on Thursday where he revealed that he was kept against his will to sign an affidavit that would incriminate Goodman.
Osborne was allegedly lured to a hotel where he was kept for more than five hours to sign the document but he refused.
Osborne, who initially was Goodman’s co-accused, was appointed chief financial officer at AGC in June 2015 but resigned after five months.
He said: “When I was accused, I was bankrupted and I would not have the money to litigate, so I approached the liquidator to settle.”
He said while he was involved in all the financial decisions of the company, he had limited access to information in order to fulfil the duties ascribed to the role.
He said he was the one who identified the loss of more than R2 million that the company was operating on at the time as technical insolvency.
Goodman is on trial for failing to follow procedure about his company’s finances.
His company and brand suffered severely after it went into liquidation which resulted in dozens of job losses for his employees.
In submissions made to the court, Goodman said that as the CEO, he was not personally involved in the detailed financial affairs of AGC.
He said he attended to the front office affairs such as sales and marketing while his former co-accused, Anthony Diamond, attended to the back office affairs such as the financial affairs and administration of AGC.
Goodman said in court documents that his business associates, after agreeing to finance his trade, did everything in their power to botch a deal which would have enabled him to salvage his business.
The matter has been postponed until November 28, set for 3 days.