Stefano Marani, CEO of aspiring helium firm Renergen, once told an interviewer he’d really wanted to pursue acting and studied actuarial science only as a “backup”. It’s probably just as well that he ditched his thespian dream because he can barely conceal his fury at shareholder activist Albie Cilliers.

Last week, Cilliers raised awkward questions about whether Renergen was being honest with investors. He asked whether Marani and co-founder Ryan Otto had been silently cutting their stake. And he pointed out that Renergen’s sponsor for its 2015 listing was Trillian, an advisory firm linked to the Guptas which made a mint out of state capture...

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