In a bizarre twist, a former Gupta company is taking on another of the family’s companies in a bid to recover R4 million in unpaid rent and services. Business rescue practitioners for Tegeta Exploration and Resources – which is under business rescue – have filed for the liquidation of Oakbay Investments in the high court in Johannesburg.
The application, lodged on Monday, states that Oakbay rented office space from Tegeta at its Sandton offices in October, 2013. Oakbay apparently does not have a business address or a legal entity where the sheriff of the court could serve the notice filed in the high court.
Tegeta, through business rescue practitioners Robert Knoop and Louis Klopper, has given Oakbay executives five days to contact their lawyers, Smit Sewgoolam Incorporated.
Tegeta was one of the Gupta-owned companies that was placed under business rescue last year. Knoop, in his founding affidavit, said Tegeta entered into a lease and service agreement with Oakbay. Oakbay rented office space from Tegeta, which also provided them with office facilities. This came at a cost of R150 000 a month. Knoop said the parties also agreed to escalate the payment by 10% per annum for the duration of the lease agreement.
“Oakbay Investments is indebted to Tegeta in the sum of R1 380 000 in respect of outstanding rental and services rendered by Tegeta for the period of June, 2018 and January, 2019,” Knoop said. He also said Oakbay failed to pay the annual fee increment amounts since the agreement was signed in October, 2013. “Oakbay is therefore further indebted to Tegeta in the sum of R2 416 554.90 in respect of the escalated portion of monthly fee payable in terms of the agreement,” Knoop said. He said since December, notices were served on Oakbay, but the company allegedly failed to pay.
Knoop said their liquidation application was justified. “I have also been advised that Oakbay is deemed unable to pay its debt as contemplated in terms of the company laws of the Republic of South Africa and is liable to be wound up.”
Oakbay Resources and Energy owns a 59% share in Shiva Uranium, which is now in business rescue. Westdawn Investments, trading as JIC Mining, is in final liquidation. Its only source of income was from mining contracts it had with Optimum, which have since been cancelled. Sandile Coal and Sethemba Coal were labour broking subcontractors for JIC Mining. These contracts have been cancelled and their employees have not been paid since at least November 2018. The Oakbay Investments register shows only two surviving directors: Ashu Chawla and Ronica Ragavan. All other directors resigned after the Guptas were accused of wholesale corruption and the bribing of state officials. (citizen)
The City Press reported that Eskom has quietly awarded a R564 million contract to Optimum Coal, which is owned by President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma and the Gupta family. In April this year Tegeta Exploration and Resources, a subsidiary of unlisted Oakbay Investments, completed the R2.1 billion acquisition of Optimum Coal. According to the newspaper Tegeta is owned by Oakbay Investments (29%), Duduzane Zuma (28.5%), and three other investors. Before the lucrative Eskom contract, Optimum Coal was a struggling mine losing millions each month. The business rescue practitioners of Optimum Coal reported that the mine was projected to lose R100 million a month.