Sunday Times

Apol­ogy to Brim­stone

- Belgium · Belarus · Iceland · Johan Retief

● The Sun­day Times apol­o­gises to Brim­stone and three of its ex­ec­u­tives, Takula Tapela, Iqbal Khan and Tiloshani Mood­ley, for cre­at­ing the false and un­fair im­pres­sion that fronting was the is­sue in a trans­ac­tion with Vik­ing Fish­ing Group, and that the ex­ec­u­tives stood to gain per­son­ally from the trans­ac­tion to the tune of bil­lions of rands.

We also apol­o­gise for un­nec­es­sar­ily tar­nish­ing their rep­u­ta­tions and dig­nity in the process, and for omit­ting ma­te­rial in­for­ma­tion from Mood­ley, namely that:

● Brim­stone was a black-owned com­pany;

● The trans­ac­tion would in­tro­duce two new broad-based BEE com­pa­nies to the fish­ing in­dus­try;

● The fish­ing rights of the ma­jor­ity white­owned Vik­ing would be ac­quired by Sea Har­vest, a con­sor­tium that would be 88% black-owned;

● Brim­stone did not have any in­volve­ment in Nalitha, and held no share­hold­ing in­ter­est in Nalitha or the South African Fish­ing Em­pow­er­ment Cor­po­ra­tion; and

● Nei­ther Brim­stone nor the three ex­ec­u­tives were share­hold­ers in the cor­po­ra­tion.

Brim­stone and the ex­ec­u­tives com­plained to press om­buds­man Jo­han Retief about a story “Top ex­ec­u­tives set to score in BEE front com­pa­nies” (June 17).

Retief or­dered the apolo­gies and rep­ri­manded us for in­ac­cu­rately stat­ing that Brim­stone had an 85% in­ter­est in Sea Har­vest. The cor­rect fig­ure is 54.9%.

He dis­missed com­plaints that we should not have pub­lished al­le­ga­tions of un­com­pet­i­tive be­hav­iour made by the Na­tional Cer­tifi­cated Fish­ing & Al­lied Work­ers Union, as well as com­plaints that we did not ask for a re­sponse on ma­te­rial is­sues or give the par­ties suf­fi­cient time to re­spond.

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