ELEPHANT ADVISOR DENIES JSE MEETING TAKING PLACE OVER TELKOM SHARE

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

African National Congress spokesperson and Elephant Consortium advisor Smuts Ngonyama last week Wednesday dismissed reports that suggested a meeting would be taking place between his group, the JSE Securities Exchange and the Public Investments Commissioners.

The ANC's Ngonyama, who also acts as a business advisor, on Wednesday told I-Net Bridge that there were no issues relating to corporate governance - as media reports suggested - as Elephant was a business consortium and not a political entity.

Elephant, led by Andile Ngcaba, seeks a 15.1% stake in Telkom and is understood to be in negotiations with the PIC which acquired the stake in the telecommunications titan last November for R6.6bn - when the consortium failed to raise the required capital - and has since decided to warehouse it.

In re-iterating that concerns around corporate governance were baseless, Ngonyama said: "They (JSE) must not politicise the issues."

The Democratic Party's spokesperson on communications Dene Smuts said she found it hard to believe such a meeting did not or would not take place.

While she "thoroughly approved" of the PIC move in buying into Telkom, Smuts said it was unlikely that there was a genuine broad-based empowerment component which the consortium had claimed stood to get a portion of the holding.

"The mysterious shareholding set aside for the broad-based empowerment components is an obvious attempt to deflect attention from the fact that this is just another transaction towards elite enrichment. We are still questioning the existence of such a broad-based group," she continued.

"The PIC should whittle down the participation and shareholding of the original members of the consortium and in particular, the lion must be caged."

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