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South African Casino Fiasco Heats Up

23 April 2004

SOUTH AFRICA – As reported by the South Africa Business Day: "Casino giant Tsogo Sun has been accused by its former founding chairman of deliberately allowing Absa Bank to call up loans to two black empowerment minority shareholders of the R250 million Hemingways Casino.

"Yesterday, Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board chairman Joseph Lukwago- Mugerwa said Absa had probably already attached the 20 percent shares held by the two Eastern Cape based empowerment consortiums, Efusini Consortium and Suvuka.

"Their financial troubles have now sparked a war of words between the holding company and its former Tsogo Sun founding chairman, Sipho Tanana.

"Tanana warned the casino group that it would lose its casino licences, here and elsewhere, if it allowed Efusini and Suvuka to lose its shares.

"…Tanana said the two black empowerment shareholders had an agreement with Tsogo Sun.

"…'There is no way that Tsogo Sun's licences will be valid if we (the two black empowerment groups) are not there. As soon as they start playing games with us, they will lose their licences, not only in Hemingways, but also in Gauteng and Mpumalanga,' he warned…"

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