R93m pension fund case in court
Two Cape Town businessmen accused of stealing millions of rands from a textile workers' pension fund are due in court this week.
Richard Kawie, a former union consultant, and Sam Buthelezi, the director of the Trilinear group of companies, were arrested in December for allegedly embezzling "millions of rands linked to the clothing industry".
The scandal involves Canyon Springs, a company partly owned by former deputy minister of economic development Enoch Godongwana and his wife, Thandi.
Canyon Springs borrowed R93-million from Trilinear, which manages provident funds on behalf of the SA Textile Workers' Union.
The loan was to have been repaid in three instalments but that allegedly did not happen.
The union has set up an inquiry to trace the money.
Godongwana offered to pay back some of it when the two appeared before the inquiry in January.
Kawie and Buthelezi are both out on R500 000 bail and will appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
The union plans to haul Kawie before the inquiry in two weeks' time.
Andre Kriel, the union's general secretary, said Kawie was one of the key players in the saga and that the union had a keen interest in the pending criminal case.
"Kawie was supposed to appear at the last session of the inquiry but submitted a 'sick certificate'.
"We have got two purposes. The first is to publicly investigate what went wrong and who the guilty parties are.
"Our secondary objective is to establish where the money flowed to and recover as much of it as possible."
Kriel said the union was in the process of determining how much money Godongwana owed the pension fund.
"Of course, he says he received it legitimately but he has made an offer to repay whatever monies he received. I think he recognises what was set up was an inappropriate instrument to rob workers of their retirement fund monies," said Kriel.
Buthelezi told the court during his bail application that his company had been defrauded of R600-million by a well-known financial institution. He said he also intended setting up an inquiry to recover his millions.