Gold fields board acted ‘within law’

Gold Fields’ board of directors did not break the law in relation to a controversial 2010 black economic empowerment (BEE) deal.

“The Gold Fields board of directors acted deliberately and appropriately and in full compliance with the law,” chairperson Cheryl Carolus said in a statement today.

“The board does not discuss the advice of counsel and internal privileged discussions of the board,” she said.

The Mail & Guardian today reported the mining house failed to act on the recommendations of a US law firm that it should report alleged irregularities to the authorities.

Gold Fields appointed the law firm to probe the deal and provide a report to its board of directors.

The probe found shares valued around R25 million were allocated to Baleke Mbete, who is chairwoman of the African National Congress.

In 2010, the deal was hatched in response to a mineral resources department requirement that the company secure an empowerment partner for its South Deep mine. The company was then applying for a new-order licence for the mine.

Part of the R1.2 billion consortium towards this end was Invictus Gold, which included a number of highly connected people, among them Mbete and President Jacob Zuma’s former lawyer Jerome Brauns, who helped arrange the consortium, the paper reported.


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