Asset manager, Kgori Capital has been cleared of any criminal activity by the Court of Appeal on the much-publicised National Petroleum Fund (NPF) scandal.
Kgori Capital was one of the companies that came under the spotlight when the NPF, a statutory fund run under the Energy Affairs Department, hit the headlines in late 2017, with the State alleging that up to P230 million had been lost through money laundering linked to the national intelligence agency.
Then Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) successfully froze Kgori’s accounts last year, arguing that the fund manager had helped itself to P10.5 million in management fees from the NPF despite the non-existence of a valid agreement. Following its final bid at CoA to recover the millions seized under the Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act (PICA) as part of its investigations into the NPF scandal, the court has ruled in its favour and cleared it of the money laundering scandal.In the judgement the CoA, a bench of three judges, said there was no evidence of criminal offence on the part of Kgori Capital more so that the DPP had failed to present any such.
Delivering judgement Justice Louis Harms said that if the State had a claim to pursue criminal charges or if it had
“It appears the DPP sought to escalate what essentially is a contractual dispute as to interpretation and maybe rectification to a criminal matter,” he said.
The judge further explained that the money-laundering allegation against Kgori was baseless.
He said according to evidence presented before court, Kgori openly dealt with investment portfolios, issued monthly invoices, provided reports and did not, as DPP claimed, that they went on a spending spree or hid the money.
“In view of the earlier finding, that Kgori was not shown to have acted fraudulently, it is not necessary to say more about the alleged crime,” he said.
Justice Harms pointed out that the government portfolio of the fund had to be administered by Kgori and that the fund was not entitled to engage another administrator to manage the fund therefore the fund did not have the expertise to manage the portfolio.
Furthermore, Harms said the portfolio outperformed the market under the management of Kgori and that there was no indication that the government fund suffered any loss.