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Absa fires Baloyi after investigations into her involvement in the Fidentia scandal, but she claims she didn't know about the fraudulent activities

By unknown | Mar 22, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Former Absa non-executive director Danisa Baloyi has claimed ignorance of Fidentia's fraudulent activities after she was fired from Absa's board of directors on Tuesday.

South Africa's biggest retail bank fired Baloyi after investigations into her involvement with investment firm Fidentia.

As a trustee of the infamous Living Hands Trust, Baloyi, who received a R8million loan from Fidentia last year, was implicated in the alleged scam where nearly R680million of investors' money went missing.

"This action is the culmination of a process to review the position of Dr Baloyi on the Absa boards after public disclosures regarding her involvement with the Fidentia matter," Absa said.

In an interview with Moneyweb earlier this month, Baloyi said that she was kept in the dark about the details of the investments made on behalf of Living Hands beneficiaries. Fidentia has since been placed under curatorship to ascertain where the money was invested. Baloyi said that she was working with the curators' lawyers on the terms of the repayment of the loan.

Baloyi, one of the country's leading black businesswomen, joined the Absa board in December 2004 and sits on the board of a number of other South African companies.

Earlier this month the Scorpions investigation unit arrested Fidentia executive chairman J Arthur Brown and group accountant Graham Maddock on fraud charges. Both have denied any wrongdoing and were granted bail of R1million each on Monday.

The high court put South Africa's Fidentia group of companies under curatorship early last month after an investigation by the Financial Services Board.

Brown, a former instant lawn salesman, and Maddock face a series of charges including fraud of R200million, but this is only related to one aspect of the Scorpions' investigation, prosecutors have said.

Another investigation is related to the Living Hands Trust, which looked after funds for miners' widows and orphans and which was managed by Fidentia. - With Reuters


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