| Legal wrangle over Gupta-linked Shiva Uranium loan still ongoing - Patel

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has told Members of Parliament that the court action to recover millions from Shiva Uranium has yet to be concluded.

In a written reply released on Monday, Patel responded to a question from Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Patrick Atkinson on the status of the R250m loan that the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) gave the company, and when it would be repaid. 

Earlier this year, Shiva Uranium was one of eight Gupta-owned companies that underwent business rescue processes, with a couple of prospective buyers already in the bidding.

Patel reminded Atkinson that the matter of Shiva Uranium and the IDC loan were subject to ongoing litigation.

"We currently await the conclusion of that process," Patel said.

"With respect to reference to litigation, this means that the IDC has instituted legal action to recover the R37.5m as well as the R250m in accrued interest," said Patel.

Patel said the R37.5m was what remained of the original principal amount of R250m.

Oakbay Resources had repaid a total of R212.5m and the accrued interest remained at R250m, he added.

The IDC debt stems from a R250m loan to Oakbay in 2010 to buy its uranium mine, which was subsequently renamed Shiva Uranium. Controversially, a contractual amendment meant R255.5m in capitalised interest was traded for shares in 2014.

"This matter is now subject to litigation in an effort to recover IDC’s exposure of R287.5m. The R287m is made up of R37.5m remaining capital of the original R250m loan and R250m return on the original loan," said Patel.

Patel said he had received the information in his reply from outgoing IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena. Qhena announced last week that he was stepping down from the IDC.

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