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MBABANE – Due to insolvency, the directors of Matata Retail (Proprietary) Limited have resolved to have the company liquidated.

Insolvency is the state of being unable to pay money owed, by a person or company, on time; those in a state of insolvency are said to be insolvent. There are two forms: cash-flow insolvency and balance-sheet insolvency.

In its application to be placed under provisional liquidation, the company disclosed that it owed creditors a sum of E26 869 042.
Provisional liquidation is a process which exists as part of the corporate insolvency laws of a number of common law jurisdictions, whereby after the lodging of a petition for the winding up of a company by the court, but before the court hears and determines the petition, the court may appoint a liquidator on a ‘provisional’ basis.


The provisional liquidator is appointed to safeguard the assets of the company and maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the petition.
In its application, Matata Retail (Proprietary) informed the court that it owed several creditors which included Eswatini Revenue Authority (SRA). According to a list of retail creditors annexed to the application, the company owes SRA over E8.1 million.

The shareholders, through their attorneys, have since written to the registrar of companies, informing him about the decision to have the company placed under provisional liquidation. “We write to advise that the company has resolved to be placed under provisional liquidation. We therefore, request that you enter into your register the company as one which has commenced liquidation in terms of Section 292 and 293 of the Companies Act No.8 of 2009,” reads part of the correspondence by lawyers representing the company.

The company has now filed an application at the High Court, where it is seeking an order that it should be  provisionally wound up under the hands of the Master of the High Court.
It is further praying for an order directing the Master of the High Court to appoint lawyer Banele Ngcamphalala as a provisional liquidator.

In his founding affidavit, Hans Steffen, who is a director of the company, submitted that the High Court had jurisdiction to hear the application by virtue of the fact that, Matata Retail (Proprietary) Limited, was a duly registered company in the Kingdom of Eswatini. He informed the court that the company was registered and incorporated on May 29, 1959, with a share capital of 100 shares.


Steffen submitted that the company’s main business objective in its memorandum of articles and association, was to carry inter alia the business of general dealers.

“The shareholders are the Estate of the late HHH Steffen (50 per cent), Has Oskar Helmuth Steffen (25 per cent), and Matata Group (PTY) Limited (25 per cent). The directors of the company are Hans Oskar Helmuth Steffen and Willem Jacobus Snyman,” submitted Hans.

He narrated to the court that Matata Retail (Proprietary) was operating a franchise of the Spar Group Limited, however, Spar, through a court order obtained on April 26, 2018, took over all the shops of the company and consequently since then it had not traded. “Due to the above, the company has not been able to pay its creditors and to the extent that one of the creditors, Viva Beverages, obtained a court order and executed a writ which Matata Retail could not satisfy,” alleged Hans.

He averred that in light of the above, to continue trading would be unlawful and contrary to the provisions of the law.
Hans alleged that to continue trading would be permitting the company to increase its debts and liabilities, which it could not meet since it had ceased to conduct business.

The company submitted that it was unable to pay its debts and should be wound up in terms of the provision of the Companies Act, 2009 to enable the liquidator not only to take charge of the company but also administer and realise its assets under the machinery of winding up for the benefit of the creditors.

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