Today's Labour News

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coalBusinessLive reports that the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) of eight Gupta-linked companies, including Optimum Colliery, are fending off another attempt to remove them.  

In just one of many legal challenges, they are in court again to rebuff attempts to dislodge them from saving the eight companies, an exercise that has uncovered the woeful financial situation at Optimum Colliery, dodgy tax dealings and the attempted sale of the company.  There have been 13 urgent applications bought by Optimum’s former management to disrupt the business rescue process.  Meantime, executives, managers and lawyers, including George van der Merwe, a director of Shiva Uranium and Tegeta Exploration and Resources, will have to explain on Tuesday why they considered themselves not to be in contempt of a court ruling giving the BRPs unfettered access to company records.  

In the latest development, Van der Merwe, who "claims to be the CEO and creditor" of Optimum Colliery and its highly sought-after Optimum Coal Terminal, is seeking the removal of the four BRPs from these two of the eight Gupta companies in business rescue.  The four respondent BRPs claimed the application sought “to derail the business rescue process by removing the respondents as business rescue practitioners.  Their true purpose is to prevent the sale of the company assets (i.e. the mine) in a manner that does not benefit the Gupta family."  The BRPs suggested the court not base a decision on the application from Van der Merwe but on oral arguments and interrogation of Optimum’s former management of their behaviour at the company.

  • Read this report by Allan Seccombe in full at BusinessLive

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