The objective of the Highveld Syndication Action Group (“HSAG”) is to approach the High Court of South Africa on application for orders granting leave to the investors in the various Highveld Syndication Companies, as set out hereunder, to institute eight class actions, four on behalf of Highveld Syndications 15 to 18 and another four on behalf of Highveld Syndications 19 to 22 (unless otherwise directed by the Court). These applications are brought by Notice of Motion in terms of Section 38(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa or, alternatively, in terms of the common law of South Africa. The purpose of HSAG is to involve investors who invested in any one or more of the following companies (“Highveld 15 – 22 Companies”) as claimants:
Highveld Syndication No 15 Ltd (registration number 2003/031034/06) (“HS15”);
Highveld Syndication No 16 Ltd (registration number 2003/031129/06) (“HS16”);
Highveld Syndication No 17 Ltd (registration number 2003/025913/06) (“HS17”);
Highveld Syndication No 18 Ltd (registration number 2003/030778/06) (“HS18”);
Highveld Syndication No 19 Ltd (registration number 2003/030144/06) (“HS19”);
Highveld Syndication No 20 Ltd (registration number 2005/029425/06) (“HS20”);
Highveld Syndication No 21 Ltd (registration number 2005/027601/06) (“HS21”);
Highveld Syndication No 22 Ltd (registration number 2005/027390/06) (“HS22”);
Two High Court applications are brought for the issue of a certificate to institute class actions, which set out the background and proposed legal action. The first application on behalf of the claimants in HS19-22 has already been issued on the 31st of October 2014 by the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, under Case Number 80811/14, which court papers can be found under “Documents” on this website. The second application in respect of HS15-18 is underway and scheduled to be issued during the course of 2016.
Each of the eight Highveld Syndication companies (HS15-22) was in a state of business rescue (since September 2011). The intended claims, however, are principally aimed at the various directors and other individuals, in their personal capacities, for their alleged fraudulent and/or reckless conduct, which resulted in the Highveld Syndication investors (claimants) losing much of their investments, if not all.
It is submitted in the court papers that the business rescue operations have been unsuccessful, for various reasons set out therein. It is anticipated by many investors (shareholders in the Highveld companies) that they will lose the capital that they invested in the companies, either in full or a substantial portion thereof, which led to the current litigation against the directors and individuals.
For this application, three experienced counsel of the Cape Town bar have been briefed – one senior, one “senior junior”, as well as one junior counsel, all of whom have established commercial practices. Other advocates, forensic and/or other experts will also, if and when necessary, be used from time to time to assist the legal team. The same counsel, and possibly others, if the circumstances warrant (including counsel and attorneys from Gauteng), will be briefed to assist with the action after the certificate to institute a class action has been obtained.
Theron & Partners Attorneys appointed Geyser & Coetzee Attorneys as their correspondents in Pretoria. This firm also has experience in class action litigation and is currently acting on behalf of a class of plaintiffs where sums in excess of R80 billion are claimed from a pension fund.