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."