Tycoon's clean-up bid fails
AN attempt by a North West tycoon to get the Johannesburg High Court to set aside a ruling that he was delinquent failed yesterday when the court dismissed his application - with costs.
"I am not satisfied that a proper case has been made for leave to appeal and I don't see any other court coming to a different conclusion," Judge ND Tshabalala ruled.
This means Lambert Lobelo, who is a director of many construction companies, must relinquish his position with immediate effect.
Lobelo is one of the first people to fall victim to the new Companies Act, under which he was declared a delinquent director by the court.
The Act came into effect on May 1 2011.
He was taken to court by his business partner, Aobakwe Kukama, for allegedly misappropriating more than R60-million.
The money, which was a VAT refund from the South African Revenue Service, was supposed to go into the coffers of Peolwane Properties, in which the two are shareholders, but the money was allegedly diverted to Diphuka Construction, which is owned by Lobelo.
On April 12 the court ruled that Lobelo be declared a delinquent director and that Kukama could institute legal proceedings against Diphuka for payment of R22-million together with interest and legal costs.
Lobelo then filed notice of an application for leave to appeal, saying the judge had failed to consider the fact that at the time of the hearing an investigation by Sars was under way and that he was co-operating with Sars' investigation.
Kukama's lawyer, Elijah Ramonyai, said they were happy about the ruling.
"We always knew that he (Lobelo) stood no chance and were surprised when he appealed," Ramonyai said.