South African business Sagarmatha Technologies (Sagarmatha), has become the second company in the Sekunjalo Group to claim for damages from various organs of state and regulatory bodies including the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, for what it considers to be a deliberate withholding of permission to list on a foreign exchange. Claims amount to some $3 billion (R50 Billion).
Sagarmatha has complied with terms of section 3(1) and (2) of the Institution of Legal Proceedings Against Certain Organs of State Act No. 40 of 2002 (“the Institution Act”), by giving the various respondents 6-months notice.
Parties who have received the notice are:
- President of the Republic of South Africa
- Dr Leila Fourie - Group Chief Executive Officer, JSE Limited
- The Minister of Justice
- The National Treasury
- The Minister of Finance
- State Attorney
Also being taken to court, is the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for obstructing the listing of Sagarmatha on its chosen foreign stock exchanges after the company had raised the requisite funds from international investors. Sagarmatha would have been the second South African company to have performed such listing – Prosus being the first when they listed on the Euronext bourse.
Sagarmatha’s valuation – performed by two separate international professional organisations - saw it attract investment interest, in 2018, of approximately R50 billion.
The listing was prevented from being realised, as too the local listing on the JSE, despite the JSE giving written approval of the listing, by a deliberate and malicious campaign to discredit Sagarmatha and Dr Iqbal Survé.
Sagarmatha has ample evidence to support its case, and its foreign investors have also advised they are seeking legal counsel for the appropriate recourse against the identified South African persons and bodies that were responsible for derailing the listing of the company, and therefore, their investment opportunity.
Decisions taken by President Ramaphosa and actions of state entities and regulatory bodies that have been instrumental in sabotaging Sekunjalo Group-related businesses have inflicted significant financial repercussions for Sagarmatha and caused the company immense reputational harm.
At the time, Sagarmatha would have been the first multi-sided platform (MSP) to have been created in Africa and to have listed abroad. Now, the country is opening its doors to welcome the likes of other MSPs like Amazon, instead of supporting the commercial prospects of homegrown initiatives and businesses.
Sagarmatha supports the notion that more must be done to prevent the blurred lines of politics and business in South Africa, and this is another key reason why it has made the decision to pursue legal action against the named entities who have acted in bad faith and in contravention of the Constitution.
It is time Government, and its officials are held to account and that an environment to stimulate economic growth and success is not just pretty speech but enacted with the right framework to promote sustainable success within the borders of our country.
Despite numerous requests for the situation to be resolved over the years, Government has been unforthcoming necessitating the current action. Sagarmatha means business.
Further information will be released as the case unfolds.