Ex-Sentula Director Approaches Netherlands Court Over Fraud

  • Casper Scharrighuisen says he wants to prove his innocence
  • Sentula has identified assets to recover some of the damages

A former director of Sentula Mining Ltd. is approaching a court in the Netherlands over 383 million rand ($30 million) in civil damages awarded against him in South Africa.

Sentula won a civil suit against Casper Scharrighuisen in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in November 2010, seeking 88 million rand for allegedly defrauding the company. Another award for 171 million rand plus interest of 124 million rand was made against him in May 2011. The company on March 31 said it has instituted legal proceedings in the Netherlands, the British Virgin Islands and Curacao to locate and secure Scharrighuisen’s assets.

“Scharrighuisen is requesting that the matter in the Netherlands be referred for trial to give him a fair opportunity to prove his innocence of any alleged irregularities,’’ his attorney Danie Koekemoer said in an email. The allegation that he was involved in “fraudulent transactions at Sentula is categorically untrue” and an auditor’s report was filed in the litigation that could vindicate Scharrighuisen, Koekemoer said.

Both judgments were granted in Scharrighuisen’s absence. Sentula declined to comment when contacted on Friday.

Sentula has identified assets that could be sold to recover some of the damages being sought, the first significant progress in the case since the amount was awarded, a person familiar with the matter said earlier this week. It’s not yet clear how much of the money can be recouped, the person said, asking not to be identified as the information hasn’t been publicly announced.

The stock fell 3 percent to 33 rand as of 4:17 p.m. in Johannesburg, paring gains this year to 57 percent.

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