MEDIA RELEASE BY THE FINANCIAL SERVICES BOARD
TRANSACTIONS IN THE SHARES OF THUTHUKANI GROUP LIMITED DURING 1999 AND JANUARY 2000
During the earlier part of 2000, the Registrar of Stock Exchanges caused an inspection to be instituted following an enquiry by the Surveillance Department of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange into what it perceived to be unusual share transactions in the shares of Thuthukani Group Limited. These transactions were executed during the period April to September 1999 and resumed during the first three weeks of January 2000.
The inspection related to the affairs of certain persons in order to establish whether or not in participating in these share transactions they had contravened section 40 of the Stock Exchanges Control Act, 1985.
Section 40 prohibits, amongst others, the creation of fictitious transactions in order to stimulate activities or influence or manipulate the price of listed securities, or the entering into any transaction with such objective.
It should be emphasized that the inspection was not aimed at the business activities of the company Thuthukani Group Limited as such, but focused exclusively on transactions conducted in the shares of that company by the inspected parties.
On 22 December 2000 the inspector presented a final report to the Registrar who, in terms of the Inspection of Financial Institutions Act, 1998, made copies of the report available only to certain affected parties. The Act limits the disclosure of information obtained during an inspection. The recipients of copies of the report were invited to submit their comments or response to the report to the Registrar and were allowed a reasonable time to do so.
After due consideration of the report and the submissions in response thereto, the Registrar adopted the view that the matter justified further investigation by the competent authorities into whether section 40 of the Stock Exchanges Control Act had been contravened and other offences committed in the course of the share transactions which formed the subject of the inspection.
The matter has accordingly been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions who has been furnished with copies of the inspection report as well as the responses thereto.
Although this release is made in the interests of transparency, neither the Financial Services Board nor the office of the DPP would in law be entitled to furnish more information or to comment further on this issue. The FSB will most definitely also not speculate as to how the DPP will exercise his prerogative of either prosecuting or declining to prosecute any party. Interested parties are accordingly requested not to contact the FSB or the DPP while the matter is still under investigation.
REGISTRAR OF STOCK EXCHANGES
FINANCIAL SERVICES BOARD
20 September 2001