Deloitte’s Abil argument is not going to fly
Thanks for the article headed Abil’s [African Bank Investment Limited’s] BEE court papers face challenge (City Press, March 5 2017). I hope that you will continue to inform us about developments in this case. I am, however, saddened by the attitude and argument put forward by Deloitte in its defence. For auditors to say they owe no legal duty to the marginalised BEE investors, who for the greater part of the investment period were locked in this scheme with no option to sell their shares – people who used their hard-earned wages to participate in this scheme with the hope that it would improve their future financial situation – is indeed sad, to say the least, and not in the spirit of ubuntu and economic empowerment of blacks as envisaged by the Constitution.
This case is interesting for me as it will afford the court the opportunity to scrutinise in detail the so-called BEE deals, which some people view as the biggest economic fraud in the post-apartheid era.
My sense, however, with regard to this case is that Hlumisa shareholders have more than a fair chance of success if they pursue this case all the way up to the Constitutional Court.
Judges there seem to be broad in their interpretation of the law and I sincerely believe that Deloitte’s argument won’t fly in that court.