Gupta Family's Oakbay Faces JSE Suspension Over Empty Roles

  • Oakbay Resources transfer secretary also quit this month
  • Company says it is considering ‘various alternatives’

A mining company controlled by South Africa’s Gupta family, who are friends with President Jacob Zuma, faces possible suspension by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange after being dropped by both its transfer secretary and sponsor.

Oakbay Resources and Energy Ltd. was informed that the JSE is considering halting trading in its shares and is considering various alternatives, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Both appointments are required under the JSE listing requirements.

South Africa’s then-Public Protector published a report in November that said Zuma and some ministers may have breached the government’s code of ethics in their relationship with the Guptas, who are also in business with Zuma’s son. Companies controlled by the family were dropped by their South African bankers and auditors last year and Bell Pottinger, a U.K.-based public relations firm, said in April it no longer represents the Guptas’ Oakbay Investments Ltd. holding company.

River Group chose to end its contract as sponsor by the end of July due to a “revised assessment of association risk surrounding the company and its shareholders,” Oakbay said June 5. It disclosed Terbium Financial Services decision to end its role as transfer secretary a week later.

Oakbay also lost independent non-executive director Mark Pamensky last month, which “may have compromised the composition of various board committees,” the company said.

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