Categories
Business Tech World

Numsa Rejects Reports Of Faction Fighting Over 3Sixty Life’s Curatorship



The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has dismissed media reports of tensions and factional battles within the union stemming from the trusteeship of one of its companies.

This week, GroundUp and amaBhungane published stories based on legal action by the Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority to put Numsa Investment Corporation (NIC) – owned by life insurance company 3Sixty Life – into receivership.

The PA accuses 3Sixty Life of maladministration and uses several complaints to the insurance ombudsman to substantiate the reasons for putting the company under receivership in December.

Ground Up and amaBhungane reported that the issue of trusteeship had divided the union ahead of the June election conference.

Some Numsa members believe that the union secretary general Irvin Jim and NIC CEO Khandani Msibi are not acting in the best interests of members who are policyholders of 3Sixty Life.

Numsa selected the journalists behind the stories, James Stent of GroundUp and Micah Reddy of amaBungane, because they gave the impression that the trial had been completed.

The case of curatorship

“This is an ongoing matter. Yesterday (Thursday), the Supreme Court rejected the request to remove the Provisional Trustee Yashoda Ram,” Numsa said.

“If GroundUp and amaBhungane want us to believe that their reporting is balanced and objective, they should also have mentioned the fact that a preliminary report published by Yashoda Ram, the interim trustee, suggests that the Prudential Authority acted “irrationally” when it placed 3Sixty Life in temporary receivership,” the union added.

While there is no mention of Ram in the GroundUp article, amaBhungane reports that the PA has filed to remove Ram from the trusteeship for allegedly misrepresenting her qualifications.

Ram was subsequently suspended by her employer, BDO, but has nevertheless issued an interim report on the interim receivership, with a bold disclaimer that “the opinions of BDO experts on technical accounting and tax matters have not been incorporated, amaBhungane reported.

Meanwhile, PA candidate to replace Ram, actuary Tinashe Mashoko, says in an affirmative affidavit that “I attended a meeting on Jan. 29, 2022, where Ms. Ram confirmed that 3Sixty’s affairs had been mismanaged”.

“They deliberately didn’t mention this. Was it an honest mistake or an attempt by a faction to create panic among Numsa members and unfairly discredit the union leadership, with the elective congress just around the corner?” Numsa asked in the statement to dismiss the reports.

Numsa accuses media houses of sowing division

amaBhungane’s report alleges that Jim and Msibi’s filing against 3Sixty Life’s trusteeship sparked political tension within the union ahead of the June election conference.

The report says some union members feel Jim’s affidavit was not in the best interests of Numsa members, who are 3Sixty policyholders, and would be the biggest losers if the company goes into liquidation.

“We also reject the political insinuation that Comrade Irvin Jim was elected to the position of Secretary General of Numsa because of his relationship with the CEO of the Numsa Investment Company, (NIC), Mr. Khandani Msibi.

“How insulting to Numsa members who knowingly participated in democratic processes to elect leadership,” the union statement read.

“This claim is extremely absurd because Mr Msibi was appointed after Comrade Irvin Jim, Comrade of Numsa, General Secretary was elected in 2008,” it added.

Jim was elected in October 2008while NIC’s website says: that Msibi joined the company towards the end of 2008.

The union also alleges a “deliberate smear campaign” led by the union’s “enemies” who are determined to distract the union and its leaders from the important work of serving members and conducting fight on their behalf.

“There has also been a very clear attempt to isolate the general secretary and make it appear that he is involved in the direct management of the investment branch, or that he as an individual is somehow solely responsible for the state of the business.” 3Sixty investments – how absurd!”

However, Numsa’s statement does not confirm or deny reports that a Deloitte report shows that the union had used 3Sixty Life to make payments of no commercial value to the company.

The PA had appointed Deloitte to investigate because they were concerned about the money movement between 3Sixty Life and other companies in the 3Sixty group – so-called “intra-group transactions”

According to the Deloitte report, the company’s 2018 audited financial statements show that 3Sixty Life listed R20 million in sponsorship costs. One line item is “Numsa Support”, valued at R358,000.

This Numsa support included:

  • R15 578 for Irvin Jim’s daughter’s laptop;
  • R40 430 for Irvin Jim’s birthday party;
  • R114 425 for a Numsa Gala Dinner;
  • R10 000 to cover transportation costs, ostensibly for a Numsa delegation visit to 3Sixty Life’s offices; and
  • R48 300 for a two day event for Numsa’s Wits region branch.

Allegations of harassment of a Numsa office holder

Numsa said it was informed by its national treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo that the second vice president comrade, Ruth Ntlokotse, was allegedly receiving threats, and that she wanted to keep that information confidential.

“The union’s national office holders acted out of concern for her and took steps to ensure she is safe,” Numsa said.

“We are extremely shocked to learn that according to the divisive article written by amaBhungane, the alleged threats against the president are related to her expressing a different opinion about 3Sixty’s trusteeship,” it added. .

compiled by Narissa Subramoney

READ NOW: Political Tensions Over Numsa Investment Company, Irvin Jim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *