NEW GRUDGES

Busi­ness­man seeks re­trac­tion or le­gal rem­edy after pub­li­ca­tion of book ex­tract

CityPress - - Business - Business@city­press.co.za MAMELLO MA­SOTE and MAR­CIA KLEIN

Abook ex­tract pub­lished by City Press in Novem­ber last year has opened old wounds for busi­ness­man Nd­aba Nt­sele, who is seek­ing a re­trac­tion or a le­gal rem­edy. Nt­sele, the CEO of Pamodzi In­vest­ment Hold­ings and pres­i­dent of the Black Business Coun­cil, is threat­en­ing le­gal ac­tion against City Press, which pub­lished the ex­tract from Peter Vundla’s book, Do­ing Time.

How­ever, Nt­sele has not taken any ac­tion against Vundla him­self.

Nt­sele’s lawyers re­fer to the pub­li­ca­tion of a para­graph re­flect­ing Vundla’s ill-fated business re­la­tion­ship with Pamodzi, say­ing it is defam­a­tory.

Vundla, the chair­man of AMB Cap­i­tal and one of the founders of HerdBuoys ad­ver­tis­ing agency, told City Press he had not heard any­thing from Nt­sele’s lawyers. He “is not con­cerned” about Nt­sele com­ing after him. Vundla said he had not spo­ken to Nt­sele since the pub­li­ca­tion of his me­moirs last year.

“I don’t move in his cir­cles, but I haven’t spo­ken to him about it,” Vundla said.

“What sur­prises me is that it’s almost a year since this book was pub­lished and now he’s com­ing up with this so late in the day,” he added.

But Vundla said he stuck by what he had said in the book be­cause “that’s my biog­ra­phy” and what he had writ­ten was far from defam­a­tory.

In Vundla’s book, he talked about a 1997 meet­ing with Nt­sele and Solly Sit­hole at the HerdBuoys of­fices in Marl­boro. He said that against his bet­ter judge­ment, he agreed to be­come chair­man of Pamodzi In­vest­ment Hold­ings.

“As they left my of­fice, lit­tle did I know that I had en­tered into a world of in­trigue, de­ceit, bad faith, abuse, poor gov­er­nance and witch­craft,” he wrote.

This is one of the sen­tences Nt­sele’s lawyers, Tshi­sevhe Gwina Rat­shim­bi­lani, have par­tic­u­larly ob­jected to, say­ing it con­tained defam­a­tory ma­te­rial and was used by City Press as an in­tro­duc­tory com­men­tary.

Vundla was made chair­per­son for two years at a time when the company was ex­posed to a lot of deal flow.

Vundla said big business wanted to do business with him and not “with the un­knowns who hung on to my coat-tails”.

“It would be two years and more of the abu­sive use of my name,” he said in the book.

While man­age­ment “re­ally worked the in­vest­ments we had”, Vundla said in his book that he found them re­mote and dis­en­gaged, and he would be called to in­ter­vene in in­fight­ing “even on such silly mat­ters as witch­craft”.

Through a deal be­tween African Mer­chant Bank and Pamodzi, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two camps be­came “fraught with mis­trust and sus­pi­cion”.

Vundla re­signed in March 2003 and “put out the usual bulls**t press re­lease about my leav­ing to pur­sue my own in­ter­ests”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.