High Court hands Cadac’s Simon Nash a suspended jail sentence

Rules that he was in contempt of court after making false and defamatory statements about Tony Mostert.
Nash denies all wrongdoing and remains defiant. Image: Moneyweb

Pension fund curator and attorney Tony Mostert won another battle last month in the seemingly never-ending litigation war with Simon Nash, the CEO of the outdoor lifestyle group Cadac.

The Johannesburg High Court handed Nash a suspended two-month jail sentence for being in contempt of court.

Judge Raylene Keightley ruled that several statements Nash made in an email to investigative journalist and regular Moneyweb contributor Tony Beamish were false and defamatory of Mostert and in contravention of an interdict handed down by Judge Kenneth Matojane in 2018.

Read: High Court judge slams ‘dishonest’ Simon Nash

Judge Matojane’s judgment was scathing of Nash, and the interdict granted prohibited Nash from disseminating any false or defamatory statements about Mostert.

Judge Keightley also found that the false and defamatory statements were in contravention of another judgment, handed down by Judge Allyson Crutchfield in July last year, which also prohibited Nash from making such statements.

Read the full judgments here:

The latest case stems from email correspondence between Beamish and Nash after Crutchfield’s judgment. Beamish emailed questions to Nash related to the judgment, to which Nash replied – and it is in this replying email that Nash made false and defamatory comments.

Disparaging statements

The email response contains several disparaging statements related to Mostert, including remarks that Mostert was earning excessive fees as curator of affected pension funds and efforts by Mostert to stop the publication of a report penned by private investigator Paul O’Sullivan.

Mostert approached the high court and claimed that several statements were false and defamatory and claimed Nash was in contempt of court.

In the 34-page judgment, Judge Keightley agreed with Mostert.

“The Matojane order interdicted Mr Nash from disseminating false and defamatory allegations pertaining to him in both his personal and nomine officio capacities. Any statements that are both false and defamatory in nature will obviously constitute a breach of that order. Having considered each of the impugned statements, I conclude that they are indeed false and defamatory,” Judge Keightley wrote.

Nash defended his latest statements by arguing that the statements were factual and in the public interest and that he did not intend to defame Mostert.

Judge Keightley rejected Nash’s arguments. “His version lacks credibility, and the evidence he has presented to support his evidentiary burden is not sufficient to raise the reasonable doubt required to avoid the conclusion that he was acting wilfully and mala fide in making false and defamatory statements in respect of Mr Mostert.”

The court sentenced Nash to two months in jail but suspended this on the condition that Nash “refrains from disseminating, either directly or indirectly, any false and defamatory averments about Mr Mostert in either his personal capacity or his capacity as liquidator or curator bonis“.

History

The feud between Nash and Mostert stems back to the 1990s when several pension funds were stripped of surplus assets through the so-called ‘Ghavalas option’, named after former Nedbank employee Peter Ghavalas.

Ghavalas, who has since moved to Australia, received a 15-year prison sentence for his role in stripping the surpluses. The sentence was suspended on the condition that he cooperate with authorities to prosecute Nash and others.

The Financial Services Board (FSB), now known as the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), placed the funds under curatorship and in 2005 appointed Mostert as curator and tasked him to recover the stripped assets.

Mostert has already recovered hundreds of millions of these assets and settled with several institutions such as Alexander Forbes, Old Mutual and Sanlam.

Nash, however, denies all wrongdoing and remains defiant.

The FSB placed two funds of which Nash was a trustee at the time under Mostert’s curatorship, being the Sable Industries and Power Pack pension funds. Subsequently, the Cadac Pension Fund was also placed under Mostert’s curatorship.

The FSB laid several criminal charges, including fraud and theft against Nash, and his criminal trial in respect of his stripping of pension funds’ surpluses is still ongoing.

In response to questions, Mostert said that it is “regrettable that Nash, having removed illegally millions of rands which he has enjoyed for the past 20 years, unlike others who participated in the scheme, does not do the right thing, except employ Zuma tactics and attacks those legally obligated to bring him to book”.

Nash referred Moneyweb to his attorney for comment. Moneyweb approached the attorney for comment but had not received a response by the time of publication.

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“Ghavalas, who has since moved to Australia, received a 15-year prison sentence for his role in stripping the surpluses.”

Did he serve his sentence, Ryk? Australia accepts immigrants with a criminal record? Confused by this, it’s not the first time I have run into this. Remember that family of attorneys from JHB who skipped with funds? Also in Australia.

As well as that Ponzi scheme crook.

Australia was populated by England exporting its criminals rather than the pesky cost of keeping them in jail. Explains a lot 😉

To compare Nash to Zuma is laughable.
Nash took a legal loophole using defunct pension monies, created employment and businesses spreading good fortune and positive opportunities for thousands of South Africans and is hounded for years ending in a suspended sentence with a criminal record.
Zuma took billions from weary and unsuspecting taxpayers and squandered it on his personal lifestyle , gold bars and a nest egg in Dubai and walks free, laughing in the face of SA’s Judicial system.
Just doesn’t make sense – smacks of racism, discrimination and personal vendettas….in my opinion.

Years ago I had a business with a small staff, who belonged to a union organised pension scheme, underwritten by a well know insurance house. When the business closed down, the union disappeared, so I approached the insurance house on behalf of the staff to pay out the contributions. No, they said, only the staff can apply. So I helped the staff to complete the necessary documents. Three years later I bump into one of the staff members, who tells me that nothing was paid out. Not a single staff member received a cent, even though they kept on trying (for a while at least, but they were uneducated general workers, who didn’t have the wherewithal to fight for their money). I undertook to follow up, but I was given the run around for a while, until they officially informed me that I had no legal standing. As far as I know, to this day, no money was paid out. I wonder whether that money was also used to ‘spread good fortune’? In either case it is morally wrong, regardless of whether a ‘legal loophole’ (a JZ speciality) was found, to use the money for any other purpose. Perhaps the comparison with JZ is not that far off, after all.

Australia started welcoming criminals in 1700 !
Seems they still welcome them now …..

Always have, always will, even teach them to play cricket.

lol

If you’re a Saffer, that’s very rich coming from you, considering SA is a major stockpiler and sometimes exporter of the vermin!!:)

End of comments.

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