In a vote that throws a lifeline to scandal-plagued Tongaat Hulett, shareholders of the sugar producer have overwhelmingly backed plans to alter its founding documents to remove borrowing restrictions.

Tongaat, which is in the middle of cleaning up its balance sheet after a devastating accounting scandal, said on Thursday more than 90% of its shareholders had voted in favour of tweaking its memorandum of incorporation — a document that defines the structure and obligations of South African companies.

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