At the coalface: Anglo Platinum workers about to board a lift at Thembelani in Rustenburg. It has been reported that money is missing from the Bophelo Beneficiary Fund. Picture: File
At the coalface: Anglo Platinum workers about to board a lift at Thembelani in Rustenburg. It has been reported that money is missing from the Bophelo Beneficiary Fund. Picture: File

The new Mvunonala Holdings group CEO is investigating whether R255m is missing from the Bophelo Beneficiary Fund as reported last week.

The media report said the money was administered on behalf of the Anglo Platinum Group Provident Fund.

Angel Nyathela replaced Bongani Mhlanga, a Zimbabwean who built up the business over the past 15 years.

After being deported because he was in the country illegally, Mhlanga stepped down as Mvunonala group CEO.

Nyathela took up the reins of the group on Tuesday last week.

One of her first tasks was to determine the accuracy of a City Press report that R255m was missing from the Bophelo Beneficiary Fund, administered by Bophelo Benefit Services, a subsidiary of Mvunonala Holdings.

Nyathela said in an interview she had already reported the matter to the Financial Services Board (FSB), which is expected to make a statement shortly.

The board is understood to be monitoring the compliance of the fund with provisions of the Pension Funds Act.

"I will also establish if any of the beneficiaries of the pension fund were not paid and if so, why this happened.

"The interests of the poor and vulnerable are paramount, as well as transparency and open communication with all stakeholders," Nyathela said.

Nyathela was CEO of Nerpo Financial Services, which is involved in agricultural development finance, before taking up her current position.

Nyathela said it was no simple task to track down the R255m that had been invested with asset managers and insurers and was not in a savings account in the bank.

She had to meet auditors on Monday to check how the money had been accounted for in the books and could not express an opinion about whether the money was missing or not without having seen the evidence.

"At this stage it is too early for me to express an opinion.

"All I need is time to gather all the information and then I can confidently say what the status is," Nyathela said.

She had met Mhlanga, contacted clients to provide each of them with their certified balances and was engaging with the trustees of the Bophelo Beneficiary Fund to determine how they undertook their fiduciary duties, she said.

Two of the three widows of deceased mine workers, mentioned in the City Press article as not having been paid money due to them by Bophelo, had also been contacted.

The Amplats Group Provident Fund has reportedly launched an investigation into the fund following complaints about the alleged nonpayment of beneficiaries.

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