It still remains unclear as to why Herman Pretorius would have wanted to shoot and kill his former business partner Julian Williams recently. But the company Williams worked for at the time of his death, Basileus Capital, has defended any involvement with an alleged ponzi scheme.
Julian Williams was one of the two businessmen that died nearly two weeks ago. His former business partner, Herman Pretorius, is alleged to have shot and killed Williams in Williams’ place of work, Basileus Capital, in Cape Town’s central business district.
Yesterday, it was still being reported in the press that the two had been arguing over money. However, further allegations of fraud against Pretorius, and the kind of dubious person Pretorius really was, continued to emerge too.
2oceansVibe received an official statement from Basileus Capital defending any involvement with Pretorius and the suspected ponzi scheme, Relative Value Arbitrage Fund. They also state that Williams was not at all involved in the suspected scheme:
Following the death of Julian Williams, the former CEO of Basileus Capital, there are on-going reports in certain media linking the Relative Value Arbitrage Fund (RVAF) with Basileus Capital/Julian Williams. This link is not only wholly incorrect but an insult to Basileus Capital and the memory of Julian Williams.
Julian Williams and Herman Pretorius were former business partners who jointly founded the Abante Group in 2002. Julian Williams, together with a group of key staff members, split from Herman Pretorius and the Abante Group to form Basileus Capital in 2008 together with James Ngculu. The only remaining link between Julian Williams and Herman Pretorius was SA Superalloys, which was a legacy investment that Basileus Capital acquired from the Abante Group as part of the process of dissolution. The RVAF was at no stage ever part of the Abante Group nor did Julian Williams ever have any connection to the RVAF.
SA Superalloys (“SAS”) is a venture capital company that was designed to raise funding from venture capital investors through issuing cumulative preference shares that would offer investors protection by exposure to a known and measurable asset (Avalloy – a subsidiary company of SAS that produces superalloys). This would simultaneously give the board of directors of SAS the flexibility and freedom to pursue the macro business strategy of exploring the integrated business of metals beneficiation and the high end alloys sector and reduce the risk to investors. Avalloy continues its day to day operations and producing superalloys from the facility located at Pelindaba.
By the time that Basileus acquired SA Superalloys late in 2008, Herman Pretorius’ investors already held cumulative preference shares in SA Superalloys. The cumulative nature of the preference shares, legitimately entitled the company to refrain from paying dividends should the cash flow from operations of the underlying investment, in this case, Avalloy, not be able to support such dividend payments. When SA Superalloys indicated that it intended to refrain from declaring preference dividends, Herman Pretorius offered to facilitate dividend payments by arranging finance. The finance was provided on terms more favourable than the preference shares, and it thus made commercial sense for SA Superalloys to utilise such finance. At no time was any finance agreement entered into with the RVAF.
With regards to the shooting at Basileus Capital on 26 July 2012, an official police statement from Warrant Officer Khunjulwa Sam (Corporate Communication) confirms that “It is believed, not confirmed, that Herman Pretorius shot and murdered Julian Williams. An official murder inquest has been opened against Herman Pretorius in this regard.”
The police investigation continues, but it still remains a mystery as to why Pretorius felt it necessary to kill his former business partner, and then himself.
Basileus Capital spokesman Julian Gwillim said in a statement: “I could go into the reasons but that would not be right… the police are investigating.”
Julian Williams and Herman Pretorius were former business partners who jointly founded the Abante Group in 2002. Julian Williams, together with a group of key staff members, split from… Pretorius and the Abante Group to form Basilieus Capital in 2008 together with James Ngculu.
The only remaining link between Julian Williams and Herman Pretorius was SA Superalloys, which was a legacy investment of Basileus Capital acquired from the Abante Group as part of the process of dissolution.
The RVAF was at no stage ever part of the Abante Group nor did Julian Williams ever have any connection to the RVAF.
The RVAF head office in Bellville had been inundated with angry investors for most of last week.
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