Sekunjalo files court ac­tion to chal­lenge FSCA

Cape Times - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF WRITER

SEKUNJALO In­vest­ment Hold­ings has filed an ap­pli­ca­tion in the West­ern Cape High Court in the mat­ter of the Fi­nan­cial Sec­tor Con­duct Au­thor­ity’s (FSCA) search and seizure raid on its of­fices on Oc­to­ber 9.

The ap­pli­ca­tion re­quests the court to order the FSCA to re­turn the doc­u­men­ta­tion it seized from Sekunjalo, un­opened, and de­clare the raid un­con­sti­tu­tional.

In Fe­bru­ary 2019, Sekunjalo re­quested the FSCA to in­ves­ti­gate share trades in three Jo­han­nes­burg Stock Ex­change-listed com­pa­nies within the Sekunjalo Group – AEEI, Premier Fish­ing & Brands and AYO Tech­nol­ogy So­lu­tions Ltd. It re­quested the FSCA to launch an ur­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion and in par­tic­u­lar,

fo­cus its at­ten­tion on cer­tain trades that had been con­ducted over the pre­ced­ing six months.

Sekunjalo be­lieved the trans­ac­tions were aimed at low­er­ing the share prices to profit from short­ing the shares in AEEI, Premier Fish­ing & Brands and AYO. Sekunjalo also re­quested the FSCA to look into sev­eral ar­ti­cles writ­ten by a num­ber of as­set man­agers, mar­ket com­men­ta­tors and me­dia houses that may have con­trib­uted to the short­ing of the shares.

“From the out­set, Sekunjalo demon­strated its will­ing­ness to en­gage with and fully co-op­er­ate with the FSCA. The short­ing of the shares has been to the detri­ment of mainly black com­mu­nity share­hold­ers. The ef­fect of Sekunjalo’s re­quest to the FSCA was to pro­tect all share­hold­ers, but most es­pe­cially, its com­mu­nity share­hold­ers,” said Sekunjalo chair­man Dr Iqbal Survé.

“It is re­gret­table that Sekunjalo was not af­forded the cour­tesy of be­ing asked be­fore­hand to pro­vide the in­for­ma­tion the FSCA sought, which it would read­ily have made avail­able to it. As such, Sekunjalo views the search and seizure with deep cir­cum­spec­tion,” he said.

De­spite the am­bit of the war­rant, the items seized went be­yond its scope and in­cluded priv­i­leged pri­vate in­for­ma­tion and highly con­fi­den­tial me­dia sources per­tain­ing to In­de­pen­dent Me­dia, in which Sekunjalo has a strate­gic in­vest­ment, ac­cord­ing to Sekunjalo. For th­ese and other rea­sons, Sekunjalo is seek­ing to have the war­rant set aside and have the seized doc­u­men­ta­tion re­turned.

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