The Companies & Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro) has taken steps to secure its database after the high-profile “hijacking” of black-owned metals firm, Kalahari Resources.
The organisation has adopted an interim plan that it says will help keep the details of South African registered companies that it stores on its database safe from manipulation by unauthorised parties.
Cipro recently drew fire after one its agents electronically amended the names of the directors of Kalahari Resources. Haralambos Sferopoulos, the agent responsible for the action, allegedly illegally removed Daphne Mashile-Nkosi and her brother, Brian Amos Mashile, from their directorships on the company’s board.
Sferopoulos listed himself and seven other people as directors of the board. Mashile-Nkosi lodged a case of fraud at the Sandton police station and launched an urgent application at the South Gauteng High Court to remove the eight new directors and restore the former directors.
Cipro has reinstated the original directors, pending the court case.
Cipro has taken a number of steps to stabilise its technology systems, improve customer service and deal with corruption and fraud.
It has appointed Poppy Tshabalala as its acting CIO and has tasked her with straightening its systems out.
The organisation has suspended certain online services, including online credit card payments and electronic change of directorships. In future, it will require a written mandate from a company CEO or MD authorising any changes to be made to the database.
Cipro will issue a password to a company once it has registered, which it will need to implement a change of directorship. The company secretary and directors will immediately be alerted if any changes take place.
Cipro will also need a certified copy of the identity document of the person making changes to directors on a company’s behalf.
“This modification is in the process of development and should be implemented by 1 October 2010 at the latest,” says Cipro acting CEO, Lungile Dukwana.
“The public must be aware that any person who makes changes to information on the CIPRO database without the company or close corporation authorisation is committing an offence and will be subjected to prosecution.” — Staff reporter, TechCentral