PIC demands more than R500m from Maponya

Businessman Matome Maponya and his companies, Bafepi Agri and Matome Maponya Investments (MMI), have failed to repay loans of over half a billion rand they took from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to invest in the agricultural sector in 2014.

The startling tidbits are contained in the papers filed by the PIC in the Joburg High Court in which it sought a default judgment against the  businessman and his companies and other affected parties.

The other parties mentioned as defendants in the lawsuit are the trustees of the Jack Maponya Trust, trustees of the Melemo Trust, Simobimo Investment Holdings Proprietary Limited, MMI Capital Partners (PTY) LTD and Maponya Hoffman Sethaba Agro Industries (PTY) LTD.

According to the papers, which are in our possession, Bafepi Agriculture represented by Maponya, and PIC represented by the then CEO Dan Matjila, entered into a term loan facility agreement on March 14 2014 in which the financial institution granted Bafepi a loan facility and an advance of more than R362-million.

The purpose of the loan facility was to pay the subscription price for the Agri Group shares under the Agri Group subscription and shareholders’ agreement.

Bafepi was given permission to prepay or procure the prepayment of the whole or any part of the facility outstanding from any refinance. Bafepi would be obliged to pay interests, which accrued on any interest to the PIC on the business day after the end of the interest period.

If Bafepi failed to pay the interests on the applicable payment date, the interest would be added to the facility outstanding.

Bafepi, Maponya, MIM, trustees of the Jack Maponya Trust, Simobimo Investment, MMI Capital Partners, Maponya Hoffman Sethaba Agro Industries were supposed to collectively pay the interests accrued.

Melemo Trust and MMI guaranteed to the PIC punctual payments by all the parties and should Bafepi, Maponya, Jack Maponya Trust, Simobimo Investment Holdings and MMI Capital fail to pay the loan facility, they would immediately upon the PIC’s demand pay the money as if they were the principal obligor.

On March 3 2015, according to the papers, Maponya and Matjila entered into a  second addendum to the facility agreement in which the loan was appropriated and or used by Bafepi.

On March 14 Melemo Trust, Simobimo, Jack Maponya, MMI Capital who were also cedents, entered into a pledge and cession of shares agreement in which they pledged, ceded and transferred and made over in securitatem debiti the shares in the issued share capital of Bafepi.

But they waived and forfeited their rights after failing to remedy the situation when Bafepi defaulted on the loan agreement when it failed to make payment by the due date, failed to produce and deliver annual financial statement in accordance with the facility agreement.

The PIC said despite demand, the parties have refused and/or failed to pay the sum of over R522-million plus over R78-million in interests accrued.

PIC lawyer Melatong Ramushu of Ramushu Mashile Twala INC said the affected parties had informed him of their intention to defend the lawsuit.

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