Johannesburg - Two Gupta-associated businesspeople have had their wings clipped after a Joburg High Court judge found that they were selling off their assets to evade a multimillion-rand lawsuit by the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund (TSDBF).
Regiments Capital founders and directors Magandheran Niven Pillay and Litha Mveliso Nyhonyha have been interdicted and restrained by Judge Moroampholo Tsoka from selling the company and its subsidiaries, Regiments Fund Managers and Regiments Securities.
Judge Tsoka ordered the pair to cap their living expenses at R100 000 a month and that their legal costs, including those of their companies, must not exceed R1million a month.
“In the event the fourth and fifth respondents (Pillay and Nyhonyha) intend to spend R100 000 per month in respect of their living expenses, they must inform the applicant’s (TSDBF’s) attorney of record in writing the source of such living expenses,” the judge’s order stated.
He also ordered that they inform TSDBF attorneys Gildenhuys Malatji Incorporated of their source of income if they do not spend more than R1m a month in legal costs.
In case they intended to deal with or dispose of assets in the ordinary course of business, they must also inform the TSDBF attorneys in writing about the value, location and full description of all such assets and all the details in relation to the relevant dealings or disposals.
Judge Tsoka also ordered that Pillay, Nyhonyha and their companies inform the law firm of any assets held in their names or indirectly through other entities, whether such assets are solely or jointly owned, and give their value, location, and a full and complete description of all such assets.
Among Nyhonyha’s assets is a R10m mansion at the exclusive Pezula Private Estate in Knysna on the Garden Route.
In March, Regiments Capital was ordered by high court Judge Leicester Adams to place in escrow its shares in Capitec worth R430m as security for TSDBF’s bid to force the company and other Gupta-linked companies and associates to pay more than R230m allegedly unlawfully paid to Trillian and Albatime, among others.
TSDBF’s lawsuit is pending before the high court. “The conduct of the respondents (Pillay, Nyhonyha and their companies) in this matter, in particular their reluctance to comply with a valid court order in furnishing security, ineluctably supports the conclusion that the dissipation of the assets is with the view to frustrate the fund’s claims and to render its victory in the pending action pyrrhic,” reads Judge Tsoka’s judgment, delivered on July 20.
TSDBF sought the urgent interdict following a newspaper article this year extensively quoting Pillay and Nyhonyha on their plans to shut down and divide Regiments Capital and sell it off in parts.
They told the newspaper that their Capitec stake would be hived off into a special-purpose vehicle to be listed on the alternative stock exchange ZAR-X, where they hoped to raise between R50m and R150m.
According to the businessmen, Regiments Capital would exist only as a legal entity to pursue pending legal claims and testify in the commission of inquiry into state capture headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
All other interests the business had would be sold off and listed on the JSE under a different name, with Pillay becoming an academic and Nyhonyha retiring.
Regiments Capital’s association with the Gupta-linked Trillian led to its being shut out of getting further business from state-owned entities.