Mine owner approaches court to get back mining operation

03 May 2018 - 16:47 By Ernest Mabuza
Image: iStock Images

The fear that two former employees of Sumo Coal might run away with just over R100m of the company’s money forced Sumo to go to court to stop them from being directors of the company.

Sumo Coal last week obtained a court order against two of its former employees who had allegedly been involved in elaborate acts of fraudulent misrepresentations which resulted in the embezzlement of monies in Londani Coal.

Sumo Coal obtained an interim order in the Pretoria High Court last week removing Abubekir Salim and Selim Kaymak as directors of Londani Coal and Root Mining and for being signatories in the bank accounts of those companies. The order from the high court in Pretoria also ordered that FNB shall not execute any instructions from Salim and Kaymak to move any amounts in the companies' accounts.

Sumo Coal holds 74% of the issued capital in Londani Coal.

Sumo Coal said Salim and Kaymak would be granted an opportunity to show cause why the orders granted without their knowledge should not be made final.

In Part B of the application which will be heard at a later date‚ Sumo Coal seeks to set aside the unlawful and fraudulent sale of Root Mining.

Sumo also seeks to set aside the Minister of Energy’s approval of the transfer of Sumo Coal’s 74% shareholding in Londani Coal held through Root Mining.

Sumo Coal also seeks to remove Salim and Kaymak from the board of directors of both Root Mining and Londani Mining. and replace them with Huseyin Caliskan and Muhammed Caliskan.

In his affidavit before the high last week‚ Huseyin Caliskan said Salim was previously employed by Sumo Coal as CEO.

He resigned in 2014 and formed his company known as Shura Mining.

Caliskan said Kaymak was previously employed by Sumo Coal as director. Kaymak then formed his company known as Anora Mining to house some of the mining and prospecting rights unlawfully transferred from Sumo Coal‚ Caliskan said.

Caliskan said at issue in this case was the sale and transfer of the 100% shareholding that Sumo Coal had in Root Mining‚ not Londani Coal.

He said Root Mining owned 74% of Londani Coal and Salim and Kaymak were appointed to the board of directors in Londani on the strength of ownership of Root Mining.

“It is the unlawful and fraudulent sale and transfer of Root Mining to Shura that (Sumo) seeks to reverse.”

Caliskan said what Sumo had was a set of employees who had gone rogue.

“They practically hijacked their employer’s business and started trading for their own benefit‚ having closed out the employer completely.

“There are hundreds of millions of rands involved here. These are the sort of matters that evoke rage and drive the wronged party to resort to self-help if they feel their rights and interests are not protected‚” Caliskan said in his affidavit.

Caliskan said there was a criminal investigation into the conduct of Salim and Kayman and there was a possibility that they might be arrested soon.

He said the imminent arrests may lead to the transfer of the positive balances in the business accounts of the companies which were currently illegitimately operated and controlled by Salim and Kaymak.

Caliskan said Salim and Kaymak had nothing to lose as they were Turkish citizens.

“The distribution of dividends by persons who stole and now benefit from crime is unpalatable.”

Caliskan said there was a total of R110m in the accounts of the combined entities of Sumo Coal and associated companies.