Employees outside African Global Operations (formerly Bosasa) offices in Krugersdorp in February 2019. Picture: BELINDA PHETO
Employees outside African Global Operations (formerly Bosasa) offices in Krugersdorp in February 2019. Picture: BELINDA PHETO

The headquarters of state capture-accused facilities company Bosasa were auctioned off to security group Fidelity for R14m on Thursday.

Bosasa, which has changed its name to African Global Operations, is based in Krugersdorp and boasts large green lawns with an assortment of buildings, including a restaurant, canteen, warehouse and offices.

“We have huge facilities we can use for the accommodation of our staff,” Fidelity CEO Wahl Bartmann said on the sidelines of the auction. “There is a lot of office space and a lot of our businesses and admin people will be moving into this area as soon as possible.”

Bartmann said he expected to spend much more than R14m on the property.

Fidelity was not deterred by the history of the property under Bosasa, which has been tainted by allegations of fraud and corruption related to government tenders.

“We don’t want to be associated with that. It is an asset ... and for us, we will see that we change the branding and everything. Our culture, vision and mission will be on this building and businesses and that is how we will take it forward,” he said.

Another property that went under the hammer on Thursday houses the Lindela repatriation centre and youth development centre. Lindela houses undocumented migrants pending their deportation. The Krugersdorp-based centre was run by Bosasa.

The property was auctioned for R60m after a fierce and competitive bidding process that started at R30m.

The auctioneer said there were two leases totalling about R1m per month on the property. They expire at the end of October 2020.

“I need to make you aware of the fact that [with] the department of public works & infrastructure, there is a confirmation period of 14 days,” the auctioneer clarified before bidding started. “They are having the first right of refusal in this confirmation period so please bear that in mind. They are here at the auction today.”

This effectively means the department has 14 days to decide if it wants to purchase the property instead.

The large property was used as a mining compound before being converted into a youth development and repatriation centre. It has a workshop, a residential development containing nine buildings and a soccer field.

Its buyer was reluctant to speak to the media, revealing only that he had purchased it on behalf of a group of people.

Bosasa has been in the spotlight at the commission of inquiry into state capture, where allegations were made that the company benefited from fraudulent tenders worth billions of rand from the state for more than a decade.

Thursday marked the second day of the three-day auction, where assets including passenger and commercial vehicles, a copper plant and various commercial properties are being sold.

Park Village Auctions and Bidders Choice received instructions from the appointed liquidators to dispose of the assets. The companies in question are Global Technology Systems, Bosasa Properties, Rodcor, African Global Operations, Watson Corporate Academy, On-IT-1, Bosasa IT, Bosasa Supply Chain Management, Leading Prospect Trading 111, Bosasa Youth Development Centres and Black Rox Security Intelligence Services.