NEWS & ANALYSIS

Yengeni's illegal directorships: DA lays criminal charges

Tim Harris asks why convicted fraudster was allowed to serve as a company director

Yengeni's illegal directorships: DA lays criminal charges

I have today laid a charge against Tony Yengeni after weekend press reports that he may have breached section 218 of the Companies Act (No 61 of 1973).

Section 218 of the Companies Act states that any person who has been convicted of fraud or corruption shall be disqualified from being appointed or acting as a director of a company. Section 441(1d) of the Act defines the penalty for such an offence as a "fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment". Cipro records indicate that, despite his corruption conviction, Mr Yengeni is a director of six companies.

Links to his registration as a director can be found here and here. A record of Mr. Yengeni's conviction can be found here.

If the South African Police Service do find that Mr Yengeni has contravened the law then it would appear as if a failure to properly establish or update the "Disqualified Directors Register" - as required in Section 218 of the Companies Act - may have allowed him to get away with it.

This could either be the fault of the Registrar of the Court or the Registrar of Companies at Cipro. This week I will ask parliamentary questions of the Justice Minister and the Trade and Industry Minister to establish whether the relevant authorities complied with the Companies Act in their handling of Tony Yengeni's conviction.  A copy of the relevant questions appears below.

TD Harris to ask the Minister of Justice:

1. Whether the Registrar of the Court sent the judgement associated with Tony Yengeni's fraud conviction (S v Yengeni 2006 (1) SACR 405 (T)) to CIPRO to be included on the Disqualified Directors Register, as required in Section 218 of the Companies Act, if not, (i) why not, (ii) who was responsible for sending such information, and (iii) what action has been taken against the individual for failing to do so; if so, (a) on what date was the conviction sent and (b) who at CIPRO acknowledged receipt of the conviction?

TD Harris to ask the Minister of Trade and Industry:

1. Whether Tony Yengeni was listed on CIPRO's Disqualified Directors Register, as required in Section 218 of the Companies Act, following his fraud conviction (S v Yengeni 2006 (1) SACR 405 (T)); if so, (i) who was responsible for allowing Mr Yengeni to be registered as the director of several companies, (ii) what action has CIPRO taken to de-register Mr Yengeni, and (iii) what disciplinary actions have been taken against the CIPRO agents responsible for allowing his registration; if not, why not?

Statement issued by Tim Harris, MP, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of trade and industry, November 1 2010

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