Wesizwe hunts partner, clears Solomon

[miningmx.com] — WESIZWE CEO Mike Solomon has been cleared of any wrong doing after allegations were levelled at him during a boardroom battle of impropriety and irregular dealings.

Audting firm Deloitte and law group Deneys Reitz were tasked by the new board with investigating allegations of financial irregularities and misdemeanours at Wesizwe, which has as its key asset an undeveloped but well explored platinum project in South Africa.

Deloitte and Deneys Reitz have submitted an interim report clearing Solomon and pointing out the need for tighter controls within the company, something that has already been addressed in part by the establishment of an oversight committee within Wesizwe.

Allegations of financial impropriety were also levelled at former chairman Rob Rainey.

The allegations were made by members of the old board who were oversaw a coup to take control of the company. These members were voted out by shareholders and the previous board re-instated with some new additions.

The allegations were based on an internal audit report produced in November 2009.

“In their report to the Board in March 2010, Deloitte and Deneys Reitz confirmed that the internal audit report of November 2009 was flawed in a number of respects and that their Review Report of 2009 was incomplete in the sense that the people targeted in this investigation had not been given the opportunity to respond to the allegations made,” said chairman Dawn Mokhobo.

“Having deliberated extensively on the Deloitte and Deneys Reitz reviews, the Board has unanimously resolved to exonerate Messrs Solomon and Rainey of any alleged wrongdoing,” she said in a statement.

“The Deloitte and Deneys Reitz reviews also confirmed that the allegations of impropriety and irregularity made against Mr Solomon by Messrs Abedian and Tengawarima arising from the internal audit report were unfounded.”

Wesizwe has to decide which of a number of options it will take to develop a mine at the Frischgewaagd-Ledig property. These include going it alone to build a mine, deferring the project until it can raise the capial, selling it or bringing in a partner.

“Simply, it makes no sense to dispose of a good asset in the current market, so the disposal option is not ideal,” said Solomon.

“Management is therefore of the opinion that the most optimal option would vests in a strategic local or foreign partnership. Specific opportunities are being evaluated and the results will be presented to the Board, prior to asking shareholders to consider the chosen strategic option,” he said.

In board meeting leaked during the boardroom battle last year, it was shown that Impala Platinum and Chinese metals group Jinchuan were both interested in the project.