JOHANNESBURG – A South African mining contracting firm owned by the Gupta family has been put into liquidation, according to people familiar with the matter.
Westdawn Investments, which also trades as JIC Mining Services, has debt of almost R60-million, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. The company received the liquidation letter on Friday from Chavonnes Badenhorst St. Clair Cooper, the liquidator appointed by the High Court, they said. Kal Tire Mining, which JIC owes R900 000, brought the application, the people said.
About 800 people stand to lose their jobs and CEO Jagannath Arora will be leaving the country to return to India, said one of the people.
In 2017, JIC did work on the Maseve concentrator plant, which belonged to Platinum Group Metals at the time. The producer of the precious metal paid Platinum Group Metals for the services, but JIC’s suppliers and debtors have not been reimbursed, the people said.
The number for Westdawn’s office didn’t connect. It hasn’t responded to an email seeking comment. The liquidator could not be reached for comment.
JIC’s parent company, Oakbay Investments, is also setting up new offices through an agent at the International Gateway Office Park in Midrand, near Johannesburg, that will trade as MJ Mining, said the people. This is after members of the Gupta family, who had close ties with former South African President Jacob Zuma, resigned from management positions in the companies they control following a wave of controversy surrounding the family relating to undue influence over certain politicians and deals. The Guptas have denied wrongdoing.
The Oakbay contact number didn’t connect. Lawyers representing the Gupta family, didn’t respond to emailed questions.