Johannesburg - Embattled businessmen, former Transnet director Stanley Shane and business partner Clive Angel, are no longer facing prosecution at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court (SCCC), after the charges against them were dropped.
On Monday, the pair appeared in the Joburg SCCC, where the fraud, theft, money laundering, forgery and uttering charges were withdrawn against them following representations to the State by their lawyer, Billy Gundelfinger.
According to the initial charge sheet and indictment, Shane and Angel’s company, Integrated Capital Marketing, initially invested in a liquor business called Biggest SA Trading (BSA), becoming non-executive directors and private equity investors.
Logistics giant, Supergroup Trading, eventually began negotiations to purchase BSA, eventually settling on a purchase consideration of R50million - R30m purchase with a R20m working capital.
However, Supergroup laid criminal charges against the business, Shane, Angel, directors at BSA, Tal and Daniel Peer, as well as the company’s auditor, David Graham Buxton, allegedly for misrepresenting the value of the company.
The State alleged the group forged two fake invoices to falsely raise the value of the business by about R12m.
However, speaking to the Saturday Star this week, Gundelfinger confirmed that while the prosecution would continue against the other accused, his clients were vindicated.
He said his clients were, “non-executive directors, minority shareholders and private equity investors, who were not operationally involved in the business”.
However, it was revealed through multiple media reports last year that Shane and Angel were under investigation for their links to the controversial Gupta family.
Shane, in his capacity as a top executive at Transnet, was accused of showing bias towards a Gupta-linked company, T-Systems, in a tender procurement process. The City Press last year reported that he decided to keep T-Systems’ contract, despite recommendations from other committees suggesting the company be dropped in 2016.
At the time of the report, Shane defended the board’s decision to appoint T-Systems, despite claims that another company, Robert Gumede’s Gijima Holdings, scored the highest points to be awarded the tender.
An amaBhungane investigation later revealed Shane, Angel and several other Jewish businessmen allegedly formed part of the “Gupta minyan”, described as a key brains-trust for the family.
While it seems the investigation into the group of men is still ongoing, it is understood that no criminal charges were laid against them.
At the time of the amaBhungane exposé, Gundelfinger said there was “absolutely no criminality on behalf of any of these parties they were (merely) service providers”.
However, this week he would not be drawn to comment on such allegations.
The Saturday Star