SA court sets aside notice for PIC to recover R4.3 bln from AYO Technology within weeks

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JOHANNESBURG, March 26 – The North Gauteng high court has set aside a compliance notice from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) compelling AYO Technology to repay R4.3-billion it received from the Public Investment Corporation within two weeks, news channel ENCA reported on Tuesday.

The PIC had asked the court in Pretoria to set aside the notice, saying the CIPC did not give it adequate time to comply.

An ENCA reporter read an excerpt from the court ruling on Tuesday, which said in part: “The compliance notice issued by the respondent (CIPC) on the 21st February 2019 to the applicants (PIC) is declared unlawful and of no force or effect.”

Speaking to radio station 702 in response to the ruling, deputy finance minister and PIC chairman Mondli Gungubele said the stance of the state owned entity — which has over R2 trillion of assets under management, making it Africa’s largest – was that “procedures to actually direct a notice of that nature were not followed”.

“It’s got nothing to do (with) whether the money should be recovered or not,” Gungubele added, saying the PIC was making legal consultations on whether there was any legal basis to recover the R4.3 billion and if so how to do that.

“Naturally, what we expect the court to assist us on is a practicable period within which this can be done,” he said.

AYO Technology, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, had itself also asked the high court to interdict the CIPC from enforcing the notice and to also set the notice aside.

It argued that the uptake by the PIC of its listed shares through a private placement in December 2017 was fully transparent and complied with all the necessary legal requirements. (ANA)