What do we know about Lodidox, the Manyi company buying Gupta assets?
Mzwanele Manyi, who has bought The New Age and ANN7 from the Guptas’ Oakbay Investments, has told Power FM he will create jobs in the media as an example to other media companies.
Manyi purchased the companies for R450m through vendor financing‚ which means the Guptas lent him the money to buy the companies.
There is speculation that this is because the Bank of Baroda is closing the Oakbay bank accounts at the end of this month and it may not have bank accounts available.
TimesLIVE has been unable to reach Manyi and he has not responded to SMSes‚ WhatsApp messages or calls.
But he said on air that his vendor-financing deal was above board and that he couldn’t reveal details of the deal. He said his house was on "the line".
He also told the radio station he would be creating jobs, saying this was what other media houses should be doing, and would comply with the press code.
The New Age and ANN7 station would have "integrity" and "honesty", he told the radio station.
He also said this was the first deal done by his company, Lodidox, which was quite new.
A search of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission shows the company was registered in 2012 by Christian Gouws‚ who registers shelf companies and sells them later.
Manyi became an active director in June and Gouws resigned.
The company is registered at a residential property in Meadowlands‚ Soweto.
In the meantime analysts have speculated that banks may still be cautious about allowing The New Age or ANN7 to open bank accounts for businesses purposes‚ even after the Guptas have sold these companies.
It appears that by allowing their friend Manyi to buy their media company‚ the Guptas can access new bank accounts to keep the companies running.
The new bank accounts would still be scrutinised under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, analysts said.
The Guptas‚ due to appearances of money laundering‚ have had their accounts at South African banks closed and have learned that the Indian Bank of Baroda plans to close their accounts by the end of August.
This would make paying staff at ANN7 and The New Age very difficult.
Oakbay has also been delisted from the JSE‚ impeding its ability to raise money through issuing shares.
Oakbay was forced to delist after it lost its sponsor company‚ a legal requirement for being listed. It also lost auditors KPMG last year (it was replaced by SizweNtsalubaGobodo at the time)‚ also a requirement for listing.
Economist Dawie Roodt said if he had a client that wanted to invest money with him‚ but he believed the money to have been acquired through ill-gotten gains‚ he could not take the money.
But if this client’s friend came to him a few days later with the same amount of money‚ he would still be suspicious and ask questions.
"I have to know my clients [banks have to know theirs]‚" he said‚ speaking of his obligations required by the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.
"Banks ain’t going to touch this. It is obvious to a blind man what is going on."
Prof Alex van den Heever‚ chair of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies at the Wits School of Governance, said banks would still scrutinise the bank accounts of the new company‚ Lodidox.
"If this is an attempt to circumvent the closure of bank accounts‚ the possibility exist the banks may look into this. It doesn’t really appear as a legitimate transaction."
He said an investigation of the company buying the newspaper and TV station was needed.
"We must ask what kind of company this is. If it is not trading and it didn’t have a clear business purpose until this transaction‚ then it also raises all sorts of questions."