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Gupta companies facing liquidation

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Seven companies owned by controversial Gupta lieutenants Eric Wood and Salim Essa will be wound down following a South Gauteng High Court order.

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JOHANNESBURG – Seven companies owned by controversial Gupta lieutenants Eric Wood and Salim Essa will be wound down following a South Gauteng High Court order.

Trillian Management Consulting, Trillian Capital Partners, Trillian Securities, Trillian Nominees, Trillian Shared Services, Trillian Property and Zara W have been deemed not to be separate entities by Judge Raylene Keightley.

According to the order dated October 20 obtained by joint liquidators, the ruling is effective from the date of the companies’ liquidation proceedings. The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and the Master of the High Court will have to amend their records to reflect the consolidation of the companies and their composite winding down process.

Eskom initiated Trillian’s liquidation to claw back R600 million the power utility irregularly paid to the company. Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said Eskom obtained an order to recover the R600m including interest. The SA Revenue Service is also among creditors demanding money from Trillian.

Last Thursday, business rescue practitioners Kurt Knoop and Johan Klopper succeeded at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in overturning a North Gauteng High Court judgment in favour of Atul Gupta’s wife, Chetali Gupta, to remove them as business rescue practitioners of Gupta-owned Islandsite Investments 180 and Confident Concept. The SCA dismissed Gupta’s application with costs.

The SCA ruled that the directors of Islandsite and Confident Concept were not entitled to act on the order for the removal of Knoop and Klopper as business rescue practitioners by nominating new business rescue practitioners and that the hiring of their replacements was invalid and of no force and effect.

The SCA ordered that Islandsite and Confident Concept would remain in business rescue under Knoop and Klopper.

A few weeks ago, Wood and his business partners Magandheran Pillay and Litha Nyhonyha overturned a provisional preservation order in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act at the same high court.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi had sought an order to freeze the trio’s assets for unlawfully benefiting from stateowned company Transnet, which paid their Regiments Companies more than R1bn through illegal contracts.