Threat to sue Tollgate probe chief
DAVID McCay, merchant banker and owner of Constantia's Uitsig Wine Estate, says he plans to sue Jules Browde, SC, head of the commission of inquiry into Tollgate, for R100-million for defamation.
This week Browde said in his report that McCay put about R5-million "into his own pocket", and recommended that Tollgate's liquidators "take the necessary steps to enforce payment by McCay of those sums". He also recommended prosecuting former Tollgate chairman Julian Askin for stealing almost R32-million of Tollgate funds, and suing directors Mervyn Key, Lawrie Mackintosh and McCay to recover money received from the sale of businesses.
"Browde is talking absolute nonsense," says McCay. "Sale proceeds were paid into our private companies, and distributed to us after payment of tax. Browde is saying we stole from ourselves, which is clearly ridiculous. We owned the companies and the cash in them."
McCay says that he, Key and Mackintosh bought 45%, 45% and 10% respectively of the businesses of Kyalami International Circuit and Motor Racing Enterprises. "When Duros bought control of Tollgate in 1988, we were approached by Tollcom to sell the businesses at Kyalami. We . . . agreed on R13-million. This was put to the Tollgate board, and we had to sign profit guarantees."
After the deal, the companies were left with cash. "We told the accountant to wind up the businesses. The money was distributed to the owners."
McCay says details were known to the liquidators and all concerned for at least four years. "I appeared in front of the Tollgate inquiry. This issue was canvassed at length. No charges have ever been laid against me. I have never been implicated prior to this week.
"I reserve the right to sue others. Summons will be issued next week as soon as the relevant information has been collated." "One wonders if the commissioner was misled or if he misunderstood, or something more mischievous." says he does not want any money from the action and Any damages will be donated to charity, he says.