False doc­u­ments saga causes ma­jor static for North West FM

The Sunday Independent - - METRO - LER­ATO DIALE ler­ato.diale@inl.co.za

THE al­leged fal­si­fi­ca­tion of doc­u­ments sub­mit­ted to the Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­er­ties Com­mis­sion (CIPC) on be­half of a North West ra­dio sta­tion has left it and its share­hold­ers with more ques­tions than an­swers.

This week, the board of di­rec­tors of North West FM said they dis­cov­ered dur­ing rou­tine ad­min­is­tra­tion op­er­a­tions that fal­si­fied doc­u­ments pur­port­ing to be from the sta­tion have been sub­mit­ted to the CIPC.

They laid a charge of fraud at Sun­ny­side Po­lice in Pre­to­ria on Thurs­day, con­firmed by its man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Lawrence Tl­ha­bane yes­ter­day.

Calls to the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try spokesper­son went unan­swered yes­ter­day.

The board said it dis­tanced it­self from the doc­u­ments and the sta­tion and its di­rec­tors viewed the in­ci­dent in a se­ri­ous light.

“Fol­low­ing a se­ries of in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions it has come to our at­ten­tion that fraud­u­lent doc­u­ments were sub­mit­ted to the CIPC, pur­port­edly on be­half of the sta­tion, by an agent known to us but whose name can­not be re­leased due to crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions that are un­der way.”

The sta­tion said the doc­u­ments con­tained forged di­rec­tors’ sig­na­tures and an ID photo among oth­ers.

Tl­ha­bane said share­hold­ers picked up that some­thing was not right dur­ing rou­tine ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­cesses early this week.

“When the reg­is­tra­tion was made with CIPC they (share­hold­ers) sub­mit­ted the right forms, right names and all of those things. At a later stage, they picked up that an­other form that was sub­mit­ted was fraud­u­lent, sig­na­tures had been forged, one of the ID copies of the then chair­per­son has been re­placed with that of a white per­son. They started rais­ing con­cerns as they had sub­mit­ted the right forms.”

Tl­ha­bane stressed that as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor he has “no rea­son to doubt that the share­hold­ers did ev­ery­thing above board”.

“The con­cern comes from there. Are there loop­holes within the sys­tem of the CPIC? They then con­tacted the ser­vice provider who was run­ning the ad­min. So the ad­min­is­tra­tor laid the charge say­ing this is not the form ‘I’ sub­mit­ted, the form that ‘I sub­mit­ted is not this one’,” Tl­ha­bane said.

Pressed for an­swers as to who could have sub­mit­ted the fraud­u­lent doc­u­ments and the mo­tive for do­ing so, Tl­ha­bane re­fused to spec­u­late, adding that the sta­tion and the board would wait for the re­sults of the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“We don’t know who sub­mit­ted the fraud­u­lent doc­u­ments, that is why we are con­cerned. Is this an in­side job, are there loop­holes in their sys­tem?” Tl­ha­bane asked.

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