By: Kelvin Chiringa
The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) regional councillor in Aranos, Salomon Boois has been accused by his business partners of fraudulently reducing their shareholding in Queen Sophia Fishing CC.
Boois stands accused of taking 15% shares of former deputy minister Hendrick Witbooi’s wife, Sophia Witbooi and Martha Swartbooi and giving them over to Monica Pescha.
They accuse the councillor of taking advantage of their lack of good English to swindle them out of shares.
They claim that Witbooi and Swartbooi’s shares were reduced to 20% and 10%.
According to a letter to him by Metcalfe, a criminal case is now hanging over the head of the LPM councillor.
Boois was also in business with his wife Johana Boois and Maria Kahuika, Hileni Frans, Lydia Vries, all of whom, save for the wife, have turned against him.
“During 2010, our clients, together with the Late Sanna Rooi and your wife, Johanna Boois, applied for fishing rights with the ministry of fisheries and marine resources under the name Queen Sophia Fishing CC under your guidance.
“The minister subsequently awarded the CC 5 000 tons of Hake quotas based on its application. After the minister awarded the fishing rights to Queen Sophia Fishing, you registered the Close Corporation on behalf of our clients, your wife and the late Sanna Rooi.
“During the CC registration and amendment to its founding statement, you fraudulently allocated 15% members interest in the CC to a certain Monica Pescha. You took advantage of our clients who were not conversant in English when you prepared the amended founding statement and merely requested them to sign documentation in which their shareholding was reduced,” said Metcalfe.
The lawyer said this allowed Boois control of the business of the CC, given that his wife and Pescha now held 30% in the CC.
Metcalfe said the fishing rights awarded to the CC by the ministry were on the premise of the application, which depicted the shareholders to be members of Gibeon.
He said Boois had managed the CC’s affairs since 2012 without providing any feedback to the shareholders.
This also included managing banking accounts regarding all payments received from the sale of Hake quotas as allocated yearly by the ministry.
The lawyer has also told Boois that he utilized the business funds for his benefits while handing out paltry dividends to the shareholders.
“During 2018, the CC was converted into a Private Limited Company as per the directions of the minister of fisheries and marine resources, pursuant to which the shareholding remained as per the fraudulent amended founding statement, and you further instructed that your wife, Mrs Johanna Boois and Mrs Monica Pescha (now Gramatham) be appointed as directors,” said the lawyer.
The appointment of the two women enabled Boois further to access the company’s banking account at FNB.
Metcalfe said his clients were in the dark about all these activities until this year when they learned that Boois fraudulently changed the shareholding in the CC.
“Our clients are not the true beneficiaries of the fishing rights but you. The entire application and method in which the CC and Company are operated and managed were for your benefit,” he said.
The aggrieved women now want Pescha to be removed as a shareholder with immediate effect.
They want her 15% shareholding to be transferred back to Witbooi and Swartbooi.
They also want Boois to cease making any transactions until such a time that shareholders meet.
They also gave him an ultimatum of the 19th of November to provide audited financials of the CC from 2018 to 2021 and from 2012 to 2018.
“Failure to heed our clients’ demand will result in legal proceedings being instituted against you and Mrs Pescha. The costs will be for your account,” said the lawyer.
He also said the women are now in the process of laying criminal charges against the LPM politician as well as Pescha on account of the alleged fraud.
When contacted for a comment, Boois said there was documentary proof that he had done nothing wrong.
“I really do not understand why people are making such allegations while they sign documents as proof, but I don’t want to say anything. I must first consult with my lawyer before I can (say) anything,”