Standard Bank business credit manager, Andrion Gouws, has been accused of colluding with ENS Africa’s liquidation department to achieve unfair financial gains in a liquidation matter involving Zonnekus Mansions owned by the Eagles Trust, represented by businessman Gary van der Merwe.
Van der Merwe, through attorney Tim Dunn, in emailed correspondence addressed to KPMG’s fraud department, stated that Gouws appeared to have abused his authority in a manner that was contrary to logic and arguably detrimental to the solvency of Standard Bank.
Dunn stated that Gouws’s actions showed that he was grossly incompetent and/or grossly negligent or constitute corruption.
ENS Africa has dismissed these statements as baseless, opportunistic and a distortion of the facts. (SEE BELOW)
Van der Merwe said that Zonnekus, which had outstanding bonds with Standard Bank and Absa, claims that his and the shareholder’s attempts to opt for business rescue, rather than liquidation, were outrightly blocked by Standard bank in spite of the fact that this option would have fully settled the bonds at no additional expense to the bank.
Van der Merwe’s claims are baseless, opportunistic and a distortion of the facts – ENS
ENS Africa has said the statements made by businessman Gary van der Merwe and his attorney, Tim Dunn, to Business Report are baseless, opportunistic, a distortion of the facts.
This after Van der Merwe accused Standard Bank business credit manager, Andrion Gouws of colluding with ENS Africa’s liquidation department to achieve unfair financial gains in a liquidation matter involving Zonnekus Mansions.
Director at ENS Africa Andre Symington told Business report that Standard Bank had at all times acted in the best interests of its shareholders and other stakeholders and had run the collection process against Zonnekus in a courteous and professional manner.
Symington said: “The company was placed into liquidation in 2014 after a failed opposition thereto was raised by Gary van der Merwe, its corporate controller.
ENS Africa Statement:
ENS has represented Standard Bank over the past four years in the protracted winding-up proceedings of Zonnekus Mansion (Pty) Limited. At all times, Standard Bank has acted in the best interests of its shareholders and other stakeholders and has run the collection process against Zonnekus in a courteous and professional manner. The company was placed into liquidation in 2014 after a failed opposition thereto was raised by Gary van der Merwe, its corporate controller. Van der Merwe has, since 2014, embarked on a sustained campaign against the liquidators, SARS, Standard Bank and the attorneys representing them in an attempt to frustrate the liquidation process and to discredit all those involved in it in an attempt to retain control of the remaining asset owned by the company, being a residential property in Milnerton – termed as the “jewel in the crown” .
The statements made by van der Merwe and his attorney, Tim Dunn, to Business Report are baseless, opportunistic, a distortion of the facts and have been raised repeatedly before a number of courts in no less than seven applications brought by van der Merwe during the course of the winding-up. Four of these applications were business rescue applications all of which were dismissed in the Western Cape High Court. In particular the final application was found to be abusive, vexatious and brought with an ulterior purpose. The Constitutional Court found no merit in any of the four applications. So scathing was the judgment in the fourth such application that an order was granted prohibiting any further applications from being brought without the express consent of the senior duty Judge.
An application for leave to appeal the failed contempt of court application is currently serving before the Supreme Court of Appeal, the merits of which are poor. The winding-up process is all but complete save for the pending application for the eviction of the occupiers from the Milnerton property which will serve before the Western Cape High Court in February 2019. Van der Merwe and Tim Dunn (his “in-house” attorney – as coined by Judge Gamble in the final business rescue application) are amongst the occupiers whom the liquidators seek to evict in order for the property to be sold in satisfaction of the claims of Zonnekus’ creditors.
Out of respect for the court process, which is currently still underway, ENS and Standard Bank do not deem it appropriate to comment in detail in regard to the allegations raised by Dunn and van der Merwe at this stage and their rights in this regard are reserved. The judgments which have been handed down in the various failed applications brought by van der Merwe and Dunn are public record, place the allegations raised in proper context and are available to anyone who wishes to have reference to them. Of particular relevance is, however, the blatant misrepresentation by Dunn of the fact that offers have been received which would have “settled” the claims of Standard Bank. This statement is, at best, fanciful. Standard Bank has sustained a substantial shortfall on its claim and has been left with a number of hollow costs orders against van der Merwe and his fronts.