New confusion over Malema's deregistration of firms

Allegations of forgery, arguments with journalists and mixed-up documentation were all given as reasons why Julius Malema is named as a director of companies that receive government tenders. 

At a press conference yesterday Malema’s lawyer, Tumi Mokwena, showed journalists photocopied proof that the companies and intellectual property registration office (Cipro) was in the process of deregistering Blue Nightingale Trading 61, 101 Junjus Trading and Ever Roaring Investment. 

All these companies named the ANC Youth League leader as an active director.  Mokwena said Malema had instructed him to deregister him as a director of these companies in May 2008 after he became president of the league. But he would not provide further proof to show they started deregistering Malema’s directorships that year. 

However, latest Cipro searches reveal that the three companies are being deregistered because they have not submitted any documentation since 2006. 

“Please note that this enterprise is currently in the process of deregistration because of noncompliance towards annual returns in our register,” it says on the site.  Ever Roaring Investment and Blue Nightingale haven’t submitted a return since 2006, while 101 Junjus Trading hasn’t submitted a return since 2008. 

Mokwena said at the press conference that he had submitted Malema’s resignation electronically. He hinted that the reason the companies had taken two years to deregister was because of problems with Cipro’s database.  The fourth company, SGL Engineering, is still active and names Malema as a current director.

The company was formed in May 2009.  City Press reported that Malema owned 70 percent shares in the company, which builds bridges and roads in Limpopo – some of which were washed away or collapsed soon after completion.  Mokwena said Malema had no idea how he became a director of SGL. 

“Mr Malema is not aware how he became a director in SGL Engineering,” said Mokwena. “He was a part of the company when it was a close corporation. When it became a private entity, he did not join. He did not sign any directorship.”  Mokwena said he was discussing the matter with SGL’s lawyers. 

City Press reported on Sunday that it had paperwork with Malema’s signature, proving he had signed as a director of the company last year.  However, at a rally, Malema claimed the newspaper had forged his signature, prompting City Press to threaten legal action. 

Yesterday Mokwena said: “We are deeply disturbed by suggestions that Malema lied.”  But he stopped short of saying the paper had forged Malema’s signature. A City Press journalist asked whether the signatures of witness on the document were also forged. 

Mokwena said some sort of collusion had taken place when the document was created. Malema was named a director of the company last year, more than a year after Mokwena said Malema indicated he had deregistered as a director from all his companies. 

“The publication will not give us the documents and won’t give us the source, claiming they would protect the source confidentiality,” said Mokwena. 

There would be an investigation and they would call a handwriting expert in to prove it was not Malema’s signature on the paperwork.  When asked who would be carrying out the investigation, Mokwena indicated he would be.

Source: www.thestar.co.za, 20100303

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