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SEC declination for South Africa’s Gold Fields

South African miner Gold Fields Ltd. issued a statement Monday saying the SEC closed its FCPA investigation and won’t recommend an enforcement action against the company.

The SEC launched the Gold Fields investigation in 2013. The probe focused on a 2010 Black Economic Empowerment “BEE” transaction. The BEE program was intended to redress the inequalities created and perpetuated by South Africa’s Apartheid regime.

The main allegation concerned the propriety of a 9 percent stake granted by Gold Fields to the ruling ANC party chairwoman.

The statement Gold Fields issued Monday said:

Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields) (JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ Dubai: GFI) has been informed by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit of the United States Securities Exchange Commission (the Commission) that it has concluded its investigation in connection with the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transaction related to South Deep and, based on the information available to them, will not recommend to the Commission that enforcement action be taken against Gold Fields.

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Earlier this month, another South African company won an SEC declination.

Net 1 UEPS Technologies said the SEC won’t recommend an enforcement action after investigating possible FCPA violations.

Nasdaq-listed Net1 disclosed in December 2012 that the SEC, DOJ, and FBI were investigating payments to South African government officials to win a contract with the Social Security Agency.

It said the DOJ investigation is apparently ongoing.

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The Gold Fields and Net1 investigations involved alleged payments by South African companies in South Africa to South Africans.

But both companies are subject to the SEC’s jurisdiction to enforce the FCPA because they’re “issuers” with securities traded on U.S. exchanges.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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