CityPress - - Business - JUSTIN BROWN justin.brown@city­

The for­mer au­di­tor of African Bank In­vest­ments Lim­ited (Abil), Deloitte, and for­mer direc­tors of Abil had filed an ex­cep­tion to the sum­mons served on them by the for­mer Abil em­pow­er­ment share­hold­ers, Deloitte Africa CEO Lwazi Bam has said.

The ex­cep­tions would be ar­gued in the Pre­to­ria High Court in Novem­ber, Bam said.

The fil­ing was on the ba­sis that Abil em­pow­er­ment share­hold­ers’ sum­mons was de­fec­tive in law, he said.

The 13 000 Hlu­misa and Ey­omh­laba share­hold­ers want to claim R2.1 bil­lion from the for­mer Abil direc­tors and Deloitte fol­low­ing Abil’s fail­ure in Au­gust 2014.

Des­mond Lockey, who is chair­per­son of Hlu­misa In­vest­ment Hold­ings and a share­holder of Ey­omh­laba In­vest­ment Hold­ings, said the ex­cep­tions that Deloitte and the for­mer Abil direc­tors were bring­ing to court were de­lay­ing tac­tics.

“We are con­fi­dent that we have a clear-cut case and that our claim will be suc­cess­ful.

“The for­mer direc­tors and au­di­tor of African Bank screwed us,” Lockey said in De­cem­ber last year.

Abil’s for­mer em­pow­er­ment part­ners in court pa­pers squarely blamed the loss of R41 bil­lion on the bank’s direc­tors and Deloitte.

The for­mer direc­tors of Abil and African Bank who are be­ing sued are Leon Kirki­nis, for­mer African Bank CEO; Nithi­anan­than Nal­liah; Mo­jankun­yane Gumbi; Mutle Mo­gase; No­ma­l­iso Langa-Royds; Nicholas Adams; Sa­muel Sit­hole; An­to­nia Fourie; and Robert Sym­monds.

Mor­ris Mthombeni, a di­rec­tor of African Phoenix In­vest­ments, which is Abil’s new name, is also be­ing sued.

“Please note that Deloitte has not yet for­mally pleaded to the claim of the black eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment share­hold­ers. We are con­fi­dent that the claim is with­out sub­stance and will de­fend our po­si­tion. We have stead­fastly stood by, and con­tinue to stand by, the qual­ity of our work, and will con­tinue to de­liver on our pro­fes­sional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and con­duct all our work in com­pli­ance with reg­u­la­tory and pro­fes­sional stan­dards,” Bam said.

The for­mer Abil em­pow­er­ment part­ners have also filed a com­plaint against Deloitte with the body that reg­u­lates lo­cal au­di­tors – the In­de­pen­dent Reg­u­la­tory Board of Au­di­tors.

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