The Hawks have opened a case against Central Rand Gold (CRG), the company that turned convicted bank robber Gayton McKenzie and fraudster Kenny Kunene
Hawks eye Kunene firm
STEPHAN HOFSTATTER and MZILIKAZI WA AFRIKA | 12 June, 2011 00:13
Image by: Halden Krog / The Times
The Hawks have opened a case against Central Rand Gold (CRG), the company that turned convicted bank robber Gayton McKenzie and fraudster Kenny Kunene into multimillionaires.
Their investigation was launched after the Sunday Times reported on a R1-billion fraud complaint lodged by CRG's BEE partners, who claim they were conned.
Spokesman McIntosh Polela confirmed this week the Hawks were "actively investigating" the case after the Sunday Times exposed that a forensic report and company documents revealed how CRG had misled investors and targeted political heavyweights with lucrative tenders, share offers and directorships to secure top-level backing.
In a report by Nexus Forensic Services commissioned by Puno Gold Investments, investigators concluded CRG should be investigated for fraud for releasing "misleading (information), thereby inducing the investing public to contribute large sums on a regular basis to fund their extravagance".
CRG raised over R1-billion and spent it in three years without producing any gold. McKenzie and Kunene received salaries of R150000 and R243000 a month respectively, and a bonus of R4-million to win the mining right.
CEO Johan du Toit said the Hawks had not questioned any CRG executives.
"Due to the fact that such a claim seems to be based on the same facts (as previous complaints) we are confident that the same will be found to have no merit and is merely yet another baseless attempt to discredit CRG through the press.
"The company's annual financial reports, which are available to the public, clearly indicate where the funds have been spent by the company over the last few years," he said.
Polela said McKenzie and Kunene had also not been questioned yet.
Meanwhile, Business Times staffer Lucky Biyase reports that according to the Oersonskraal farm community, Kunene is on the prowl for mining rights for Namakwa Diamonds, which intends to access resources there.