Some of the most astringent battles in South African corporate history have been waged in the aftermath of an almighty corporate collapse. Think the battle of egos between the potential buyers of Stuttafords, which led to one of South Africa’s most eligible department stores being shuttered forever.

Efforts to keep sugar aristocrat Tongaat Hulett sweet have been equally traumatic. Three years after revelations of a R12bn fraud — including such pedestrian accounting tricks as overvaluing sugar cane — efforts by then CEO Gavin Hudson to secure a white knight in Zimbabwean Hamish Rudland ended up on the rocks, and the company tumbled into business rescue. ..

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