Client takes Discovery Insure to court
In November 2016, a storm did terrible damage to Tshamunwe Masindi's house in Pretoria. But he was insured against just such an eventuality, and over the following five months, Discovery Insure paid up against his policy, just shy of R1.6 million in total.
That represented good value on a policy on which Masindi had only been paying premiums for six months, covering both repairs and R675 000 worth of emergency accommodation while the damage was sorted out. Then Discovery discovered the emergency accommodation claim had been tainted by what the Supreme Court of Appeal this week described as "undisputed fraud".
That fraud will now cost Masindi in the region of R1.7 million in money he would have been legitimately able to keep, not counting Discovery's legal costs.
The appeals court ruled that Masindi must repay every cent of the claim, plus interest, because of fraud in one part, overturning an earlier high court decision that he need only give back the emergency accommodation money.
Discovery had gone to the high court to claim back all its money, based on a standard clause in many insurance contracts: if there is any fraud, the whole policy is cancelled, retroactively. –Fin24
Cell C appoints new CEO
South Africa's fourth-biggest mobile operator Cell C appointed former Vodacom executive Jorge Mendes as its new CEO with effect from the beginning of July.
Mendes was most recently chief consumer officer at Vodacom, with more than 25 years' experience in the industry. He replaces Craigie Stevenson, who was appointed in 2019, but stepped down in March to pursue other opportunities.
Mendes’ appointment comes at a pivotal time for the company with increasing competition in the market, Cell C said. "He has a proven track record of driving growth and profitability in challenging market conditions, and his appointment is seen as a positive step towards restoring Cell C’s position as a key player in the industry."
Cell C announced the finalisation of its R7.3 billion debt recapitalisation in September, with lenders agreeing on an offer of 20c for every R1 of debt.
The group had struggled with its debt, and part of its strategy has been to give up its expensive tower network, with its customers roaming on partner network MTN. In its half-year to end-June 2022, it reported a 1% fall in subscribers to about 12.8 million.-Fin24
PPC warns of increased loss
South Africa's biggest cement producer PPC hiked its prices over the past year - but it wasn't enough to prevent its loss from widening.
The company warned that its headline loss per share from continuing operations will widen to between 7.75c and 8.25c to end March, from 3c in the previous year, it said in a trading update. The group reported a loss of 6c for its half-year to end-September.

Valued at about R3.7 billion on the JSE, PPC generates over half of its revenue through cement sales in South Africa and Botswana, with Zimbabwe contributing 17%, Rwanda 15% and sales of other materials 12% at its half year.
The group said revenue in South Africa and Botswana lifted 1.7% in the period, but volumes declined 5.8%, with the coastal region of South Africa seeing relatively better demand for cement compared to the inland region as it benefited from muted imports given the weaker rand. However, trading conditions in the inland region remained difficult, it said, with this part of the business encompassing South Africa with the exclusion of the Western and Eastern Capes, and part of the Northern Cape.-Fin24
PwC banned from new contracts in Australia
An Australian state imposed a three-month ban on PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) local unit from receiving new tax-related contracts - the latest repercussion to hit the firm after its misuse of confidential federal government tax plans.
PwC has come under fire after a former tax partner in the firm who was advising the Australian federal government on laws to prevent corporate tax avoidance shared confidential drafts with colleagues that were used to pitch to companies for work.
The action by New South Wales, home to Sydney and Australia's most populous state, is a "proportionate response to the current investigations involving PwC," Courtney Houssos, the state's finance minister, said.
PwC will also be required to remove staff with links to the leak from all contract works for the state government - a move that the federal government has also demanded and PwC has agreed to. Last week, PwC named at least 67 current and former staff involved in the leak of government tax plans.
"I was appalled by the breach of trust that occurred with the federal government. As additional evidence comes to light we will continue to toughen our regime and protect the community from this behaviour," Houssos said in a statement.-Fin24