Pension Fund Scandal Affects Thousands of Textile Workers

The misappropriation of more than R100 million of textile workers retirement savings led to a former union organiser,Richard Kawie and his partner,Sam Buthelezi,being criminally charged in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court.

It is alleged that more one hundred million rand of textile workers money flowed in to Canyon Springs Investments 12,which was co-owned by Kawie,and former Deputy Minister of Economic Development Enoch Godongwana and his Thandiwa,via a trust.Mohan Patel was also a partner in the company,which has now been liquidated in order recoup the money on behalf of SACTWU members,most of who are lowly paid factory workers,eraning less than R1000.00 per week.

Canyon Springs was liquidated in 2011,and the workers retirement savings are yet to be completely reimbursed for the R100 million loss.Erwin Da Gama,a debarred attorney was also a beneficiary of the misappropriated funds.Erwin Da Gama is a former partner of UCT academic and researcher,Dr Michelle Skelton. Michelle Skelton is a project manager for the H3 Africa consortium based at he University of Cape Town.

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