Cape Town - The National Horseracing Authority (NHA) has voiced its empathy with all those individuals who lost investments due to the Steinhoff-Markus Jooste saga.
In a press statement on Friday, the NHA addressed a series of issues raised as a matter of concern in the lead-up to Africa's Richest Day on the horseracing calendar at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday, January 27.
Most notably was the issue of horses owned by Jooste competing on the day, an unhappiness raised by the Public Servants Association (PSA) in particular.
However, the NHA has confirmed that Jooste, following his resignation as CEO of Steinhoff, sold all his horses, including current race favourite, Legal Eagle.
Friday's NHA statement read as follows:
The NHA has met and discussed this matter with representatives of the Public Servants Association (PSA) and other interested parties.
It therefore wishes to inform all interested parties that no horse owned by Markus Jooste will be racing on Sun Met day.
Markus Jooste has sold the horses that he owned, returned his colours and terminated his membership of the NHA.
Furthermore, Markus Jooste resigned as a director of Mayfair Speculators ("Speculators") on December 7, 2017.
On December 15, 2017, Absa brought an application for the liquidation of Speculators and obtained a further injunction to interdict Speculators from disposing of its assets, subject to certain conditions. Commercial arrangements have subsequently been concluded between Speculators and its creditors which includes permitting Speculators to continue its horse racing activities. Any prize monies won will, after payment of the jockeys, trainers and grooms, be used to reduce Speculators' debt. Similarly the proceeds of the sale of Speculators' debt will be used to reduce Speculators' debt. It is therefore not in the interests of jockeys, trainers, grooms and creditors to prevent Speculators from competing in races until it has sold all of its horses.
We wish to point out that the NHA has no legal basis within which it could prevent Speculators from competing.
The NHA with the PSA and its allies agreed to stage a Solidarity parade to empathise with all those who lost some or all of their investments in the Steinhoff-Markus Jooste saga.
The Sun Met will continue undisturbed as normal.
As agreed between the parties, the horses running under the Mayfair Speculators banner will relinquish their official colours and will be allocated colours by the NHA (called Club Colours).
The NHA is still engaging with COSATU.