‘We didn’t ‘strip’ medical aid reserves’ – Sanlam CEO

Chris Bateman


Sanlam’s CEO, Johan van Zyl, has admitted that his company made a ‘mistake’ in holding onto what grew into about R600 million in reserves for two major medical aids it once owned and ran, but denied being deliberately obstructive towards them in the courts.
He was responding to claims by Leon Bester, CEO of Selfmed, which together with TopMed launched proceedings against Sanlam 8 years ago after it divested itself of the companies but held onto their considerable reserves. This led to widespread reports that Sanlam had ‘stripped’ or ‘plundered’ the smaller companies along the controversial lines of several other retirement funds it managed, but Van Zyl vehemently denied this. This January three retired judges, on appeal arbitration, ruled in favour of the smaller companies, finding that Sanlam had from May 1975 until December 1997 conducted business in a ‘bona fide but mistaken belief that the businesses were its own’.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

Full Text

PDF (129KB)


medical aids, Sanlam, TopMed, Self-Med

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(3):157-158.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-02-09
Date published: 2011-03-01

Article Views

Abstract views: 1362
Full text views: 1168

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here