The Moti Group has dismissed reports from AmaBhungane’s article as false , saying they are based on unverified and stolen documents joined together to sling mud at the group ahead of its ground-breaking mining deal in Zimbabwe.
The statement comes after news broke out that there are leaked documents and recordings revealing that group executives led on their Chinese partner while internally sharing the view that their touted world-class prospect was “just rock”.
The Moti Group has secured a lithium project in Zimbabwe which the company values at $1.4 Billion dollars, and they have since roped in a major Chinese investor.
In a statement, the Moti Group said AmaBhungane’s latest article is not only factually incorrect, but almost laughably biased and discriminatory.
The group said the reports are deliberately negative framing of pieces of unverified and stolen documents and discussions as the Group’s lithium project has received extremely promising valuations that will inspire exploration to proceed.
“ According to the latest report by expert mining consultants and geologists, the 10,000-hectare site in Zimbabwe has a potential value of up to $1.4 billion.
Despite amaBhungane’s desperate attempts to sling mud at the Moti Group, Dondo Mogajane as CEO has made it clear that Group fully intends to invest its own funds into exploring and developing the project as a majority shareholder. As should be more than obvious, a company such as the Moti Group would not be investing its own time, energy, or money into a project unless it was sure that this project was financially sound,” reads the statement .
The group accused the journalists of portraying a highly experienced and respected black businessman like Dondo Mogajane as a dupe, a black-owned business such as the Moti Group as thieves and a multi-billion-dollar Chinese company as naive which is not true.
“The leader of this company, Pei Zhenhua, is one of China’s richest and most successful entrepreneurs. The Moti Group is one of the most successful black-owned businesses in South Africa. And it is indisputable that Zimbabwe is a country with massive mineral resources.
“In fact, the aforementioned Chinese company had brought its own lawyers and geologists in person to the site in the Mashonaland East province, where they spent extensive time conducting their own due diligence on just a minute portion of the reserve. And in reality, the Good Days reserve mentioned by amaBhungane is worth millions of dollars alone. And so, while the terms of the company’s partnership with the Moti Group have changed, it has chosen to remain a minority shareholder.
“Unfortunately, it remains amaBhungane’s modus operandi to carefully select the pieces of information that support its discriminatory narratives and to quote these out of context, while discarding any arguments or facts that undermine its allegations. As just one example, the Moti Group’s full responses are reduced to links rather than included as proper counterarguments within the article,” the statement reads.
The story has been published by a lot of media organisations in South Africa. However, the Group said media organisations should have reached out to get its side of the story before publishing .
“It is also a highly disturbing and even horrifying indictment of today’s media landscape that other media outlets such as Daily Maverick, News24 and Mail and Guardian have chosen to blindly publish amaBhungane’s fiction without reaching out to myself or the Moti Group for comment, or checking amaBhungane’s facts. This can only be attributable to Sam Sole’s incestuous relationship with other media professionals, despite them knowing the background of this matter, and despite amaBhungane’s obviously loose relationship with the truth and objectivity.
“Furthermore, amaBhungane refuses to acknowledge the tainted sources of its information and the characters of the people it has jumped into bed with: Clinton van Niekerk and Frikkie Lutzkie, a former business partner with whom the Group remains in litigation. In fact, the timing of this article is highly suspicious, given that it was published one day after another hearing in the matter between the Moti Group and Frikkie Lutzkie in the Pretoria High Court,” the statement reads.
The group said the article was just made to assassinate the characters of its leaders. Moti Group’s Pulserate Investments holds a 10 000 hectare lithium exploration concession in the northeast of the country, Africa’s biggest producer of the metal, according to the US Geological Survey.