DELOITTE HEADED TO COURT TO BLOCK CLAIM
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.