Mzwanele Manyi.   Picture: SOWETAN
Mzwanele Manyi. Picture: SOWETAN

TimesLIVE has sent a legal letter demanding that Gupta ally Mzwanele Manyi provide information on who the shareholders in his company Lodidox are.

Lodidox this week bought the Gupta’s newspaper and television station for R450m with money loaned to him by the Guptas for the deal.

It is law‚ according to Section 26 of the Companies Act‚ that the names of shareholders in a private company must be provided when requested.

If the company director fails to give such information after any reasonable request‚ the director is breaking the law and can be criminally charged.

When he received the lawyer’s letter on Wednesday‚ Manyi tweeted that he was being harassed because he was black.

Manyi has 14 days to provide it or face criminal charges.

Lodidox bought the Gupta’s stake in New Age newspaper and ANN7 for R450m. A valuation of the company that is in possession of Business Day put the company’s worth at R50m.

While it appears Manyi is the sole director of the company at Lodidox‚ according to information in the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission‚ he could still have shareholders who have a controlling stake in his company.

The letter received by Manyi on Thursday explains that TimesLIVE's editor Andrew Trench is requesting the information.

The letter explains that the Supreme Court of Appeal last year ruled that denying information about who shareholders are goes against the Companies Act.

In the precedent-setting case, reporter Julius Cobbett, working for Moneyweb, asked for information from the Sharemax group of companies in 2013 as to who its shareholders were. He was investigating a controversial property investment scheme linked to Sharemax companies.

Sharemax refused to provide the information and instead demanded an explanation for Moneyweb’s motives.

Three years later, after the information still was not forthcoming, the case was heard at the Supreme Court of Appeal. It found that information on shareholders must be made available and Moneyweb’s motives for wanting it were irrelevant.