MTN (JSE:MTN) marketing director Santie Botha this week scored a profit of R23m by cashing in options over 200 000 shares. Last year she sold 109 540 shares at a capital gain of R6,1m.
But these transactions reveal only the tip of the iceberg of the staggering wealth amassed by a white woman, to a large extent on deals motivated by the BEE imperative.
At the last annual report, Botha had options over 859 000 shares, so, even after the sale of this week's 200 000 she retains at least 500 000 options priced at R16,81, compared to the present share price of R135.
So there is R57,5m more value in outstanding options.
Together with the top 2 400 employees of MTN, Botha also participates in Newshelf 64, a company that holds 243m MTN shares, which cost it historically R13,90 a share. She holds 1,16% of Newshelf
Newshelf's shares are in the black to the tune of R29,5bn. Her unrealised profit on those shares is ostensibly R342m but MTN says Newshelf has some debt to defray, so it is not possible to work out Botha's net worth in Newshelf.
MTN stresses that Newshelf is not a share incentive scheme but an entrepreneurial initiative of the top people.
But Botha seems to be hot on the heels of Irene Charnley in the race to become the wealthiest self-made woman in SA. Charnley, who resigned from MTN in June cashed in options at the derisory price of R61,52 but retains 5,5% of Newshelf. Her unrealised capital gain in Newshelf 64 appears to be R1,6bn.
Of course the men at MTN are doing even better. This week director Karel Pienaar sold 372 360 shares at a capital gain on the R9,31 option price of R44,5m. Sifiso Dabengwa made a profit of R24,2m on the 198 420 options he cashed in.
CEO Phuthuma Nhleko is in the race to become SA's richest man. He holds large chunks of MTN directly and has options over millions of shares. He has purchased boldly when others wavered.
His 7,9% stake in Newshelf is in the black to the tune of R2,3bn. He is also a major shareholder of Worldwide African Investment Holdings, which owns, among other assets, 20% of Engen.