False documents saga causes major static for North West FM
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.