In this file picture, a truck drives past the entrance to the Royal Bafokeng Platinum Rasimone mine near Phokeng in the North West province
In this file picture, a truck drives past the entrance to the Royal Bafokeng Platinum Rasimone mine near Phokeng in the North West province

Royal Bafokeng Platinum accountants probed for alleged unethical conduct

By Bongani Nkosi Time of article published Jul 4, 2019

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The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) has launched an investigation into six board members of Royal Bafokeng Platinum following a complaint about their alleged unethical conduct.

Saica was investigating the six because they are chartered accountants and registered with them. The probe was a culmination of wrangles between Royal Bafokeng and an investment company accusing the mine of being part of a plot to defraud it.

Ithemba Financial Services allegedly lost over R2 million mysteriously after doing business with the mine.

The company said it lent over R2.4m to a company that Royal Bafokeng contracted for an overland conveyor installation project in 2017.

The agreement between the three parties was that the mine would make repayments to Ithemba’s account, according to the lending company.

Royal Bafokeng allegedly made two payments of R357867 into the account as repayments.

After completion of the project the mine “decided to fraudulently make payments (of R2066501) to an unknown, unauthorised bank account”, according to Ithemba’s complaint.

The company further complained that its attempts to have this corrected were rebuffed by Royal Bafokeng.

Ithemba confirmed to The Star that it approached Saica to complain against chartered accountants on Royal Bafokeng’s board, in the belief that they were acting unethically by allowing fraud to happen under their watch. “We confirm that we complained at Saica because we were defrauded by Royal Bafokeng Platinum. We lost an amount of about R2.4m,” said the company. “After we delivered all our materials, we were chased out. But there were two payments paid correctly.

“We’ve tried by all means to resolve the matter. It’s the board that’s responsible for this matter. We’re not fighting anybody. We want our money back. That’s all we want. We want justice.”

Saica confirmed that it was probing the matter. “We’re not in a position to name anyone at this time due to ongoing investigations,” said Willi Coates, Saica’s senior executive for branding.

Royal Bafokeng told The Star Ithemba’s claims, which it first became aware of in 2017, were spurious.

The mine said it owed Ithemba nothing. 

@BonganiNkosi87

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