By BO Staff Writer
Two business rescue practitioners are accused of taking bribes to give Optimum Coal Mine (Optimum) to a shadowy company known as the Burgh Group Holdings (BGH) which is known to act as a front for international commodities giant, Vitol. Kurt Robert Knoop and Johan Louis Klopper are accused of accepting a bribe of $2.5 million (about R28 million).
The partially Gupta owned Optimum was placed under business rescue after white monopoly capital (WMC) created a liquidity crisis for Gupta businesses. This crisis was facilitated through unlawful schemes including shutting down the Oakbay Investments bank accounts. The Gupta family deeply angered and frightened WMC when it took over Optimum from the global energy giant, Glencore. Consequent to this take over, WMC launched massive campaigns to squeeze the Guptas out of the South African economy so that the monopoly of white business is enhanced.
The business rescue practitioners are said to be going around using the name of Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, to lure companies into taking bribes to the detriment of thousands of employees. They are said to have also spoken to Trevor Manuel and his wife, Maria Ramos, on the instructions of Mantashe to help them on the issue of the banks. They claim that they have even met with the Minister of Mineral Resources on a number of occasions, and that he (the Minister) came to visit them in their hotel, being the Protea Hotel at OR Tambo International.
Sources close to the business rescue process has revealed that there is big tension between the Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, and the two business rescue practitioners.
New damning evidence, which has now emerged, indicates that indeed the two business rescue practitioners may have accepted bribes to favour BGH. Black Opinion has sent a number of questions to the two business rescue practitioners regarding the allegation against them. At the time of publishing this report no response had been received from either of them.
The radical black consciousness movement Black First Land First (BLF) has threatened that it will be opening criminal cases against the business rescue practitioners for corruption. The movement says that WMC is looting without consequences – that’s why Klopper and Knoop have been so brazen in abusing the business rescue operations for their own interests.
BLF further says that it will request the Minister of Mineral Resources via a letter to remove the current business rescue practitioners so as to ensure that the processes of business rescue are not used for self enrichment by those appointed to look after the interests of workers and creditors.
This is a developing story. More updates will be reported as further information is confirmed.