Motala faces criminal charges for perjury

The Master of the Pretoria High Court this week laid a charge of perjury against embattled liquidator Enver Motala at the Pretoria central police station.

Motala came under fire this year for his handling of the liquidation of Pamodzi Gold mines in North West and on the East Rand in Gauteng.

Aurora Empowerment Systems, which was brought in to run the mines after the company was liquidated in 2009, failed to secure the funds to enable it to do so and was accused of not paying miners, of asset stripping and of illegal mining.

Motala was removed as the lead liquidator in the Pamodzi Gold matter in September, following an inquiry into the liquidation of the mining group and the conduct of the liquidators in the matter.

The Citizen newspaper reported in August that Motala had changed his name from Enver Mohamed Dawood to Motala in order to disguise 93 previous fraud convictions.

Shortly after the article was published the Master of the High Court sent a letter asking Motala about these accusations, to which Motala and his lawyers ‘answered evasively”.

Called to testify

Following the series of letters between the Master and Motala, he was called in to testify under oath on August 17 regarding the allegations that he had lied about his identity.

In a nine-page letter to Motala from the Master of the High Court in September outlining the reasons for the court’s decision to remove him from the liquidators panel, the Master said: “On two occasions and in two contexts, you have failed and refused to answer questions reasonably put to you by the Master.

“You have also evaded answering questions directly and given answers which, on the facts available to the Master, appear false.”

The second occasion referred to, during which Motala was found to be “wanting”, was during the hearing into the liquidation of Pamodzi Gold.

The Master wrote: “When the Master called you to an inquiry, you declined to assist. In particular, you declined to testify. The approach taken was of the same nature as the approach taken by you in relation to what I will describe as the Dawood saga.”

Motala has since also been removed from the national liquidators panel.Aurora was liquidated last month, shortly before its directors became embroiled in a liquidation hearing over their mismanagement of the two mines.

Denials

The Mail & Guardian understands that Motala testified under oath that he had no previous convictions and that he had no knowledge of who Enver Mohamed Dawood was. Motala also denied allegations that he changed his surname in 1981 to conceal his fraud convictions.

The inquiry in August put it to Motala that not only did he share a birthday and ID number with Dawood but that a home affairs document from June 22 1981 showed that the department had consented to him changing his surname.

A document that was handed to the police on Wednesday morning lists various allegations against Motala.

It notes that: “The state ... requires that Mr Motala be criminally charged with the offence of perjury and that he be prosecuted accordingly.”

However, in an interview with the M&G last month, Motala claimed that the 93 counts of fraud and one count of theft were “made up”.

A review application lodged by Motala against his removal as a liquidator in the Pamodzi matter is still pending.

Motala also denied allegations regarding a R3-million cash injection he had given to Aurora without his fellow liquidators’ consent.

“I know nothing about it ... absolutely nothing ...” he said.

* Got a tip-off for us about this story? Email amabhungane@mg.co.za

The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit initiative to develop investigative journalism in the public interest, produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for all our stories, activities and sources of funding.

Sally Evans

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