What Mvunonala said...
Mvunonala Holdings, through its lawyer, Kabelo Mathopo, denied that the Bophelo Beneficiary Fund (BBF), administered by Bophelo Benefit Services, was experiencing financial problems.
“On the financial problems allegedly experienced by BBF, our client denies it is experiencing any difficulties. There have been no problems with payments to beneficiaries and, certainly, the financial soundness of BBF or any of our client’s other subsidiaries has not been in question,” Mathopo said.
“This is evident from its annual audited financial statements submitted to the regulator. There are not any complaints submitted to the regulator or the Pension Fund Adjudicator by any of the beneficiaries, or the funds our client is contracted to. In all circumstances, our client denies that it is experiencing any financial difficulties as alleged by City Press or its sources.”
Regarding the ownership of the office block on Grayston Drive and the Parktonian Hotel in Braamfontein, Mathopo said Mvunonala Properties was still in the process of “executing both deals”.
The financial relationship between Mvunonala Properties and BBF is based on the values of these two properties, he said. And property investments were not handled directly by BBF, but by Mvunonala Properties.
“For the purpose of financials, our client had to provide the evaluations – irrespective of where the deal process was as the purchase consideration had already been agreed upon. Mvunonala Properties was responsible for building the whole of 72 Grayston Drive with the ultimate aim of acquiring it outright from the Government Employees’ Pension Fund as an investment for BBF and other funds under its portfolio,” Mathopo wrote.
“Evaluations or projections were done on a completed building. Mvunonala Properties, therefore, took responsibility to rebuild the property at its own cost.”
The purchase, Mathopo said, was going to be done after completion as it would present good value for the investor, and factor in the costs incurred while rebuilding the property. While there is a lease agreement with Mowana Holdings, with the Government Employees’ Pension Fund still owning the building, this would change once the ownership transaction has been completed, he said.
Mathopo was unable to say why both the Grayston Drive property and the hotel were listed as assets on the fund’s balance sheet.
Mathopo said the hotel was being acquired through Mvunonala Properties.
“Funds are, therefore, still held by Mvunonala Properties with the aim of executing both deals. The liability based on the financials is with Mvunonala Properties. We are instructed that the fund has been properly audited, every cent being fully accounted for by the three parties who have a direct agreement with the fund.”
On Bongani Mhlanga’s deportation, Mathopo said: “There is currently a legal process pending between Mhlanga and the department of home affairs.
“Under the circumstances, we are precluded ... from providing a detailed response.”
He also denied Mvunonala and its subsidiaries were established with fraudulent documents.
“We are instructed to record that the establishment of Mvunonala Asset Managers and all of our clients’ entities were done in accordance and with due compliance with the law.
“Under the circumstances, our clients deny that ‘papers’ used in the establishment of any of its entities were fraudulent in any respect,” he said.