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CityPress - - News - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

court bat­tle be­tween Savita Mbuli and FirstRand Bank has pro­vided a glimpse into the on­go­ing fi­nan­cial mess she has had to deal with since the death of her hus­band, TV pre­sen­ter Vuyo Mbuli. FNB ap­plied for a judg­ment against Savita at the South Gaut­eng High Court last month. Court pa­pers claim that Savita, who was mar­ried to Vuyo in com­mu­nity of prop­erty, owes the bank more than R10 mil­lion. The ini­tial amount the cou­ple owed on their plush home in Houghton, Joburg, which they bought in 2001, was just more than R1 mil­lion.

In the two years since her hus­band died, Savita – who is listed by the Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Com­mis­sion as the di­rec­tor of four com­pa­nies – ap­pears to have been un­able to make the monthly in­stal­ments on the dou­ble-storey home.

She shares the home with their two chil­dren: Siphosihle (17) and Sithenkosi (15).

How­ever, she is now dis­put­ing the bank’s claims that she owes it R10 mil­lion and in­sists she only owes them a tenth of that amount. She also says she has no idea why the bank is su­ing her for an ad­di­tional out­stand­ing loan of just more than R2 mil­lion.

“The to­tal amount that FNB came to of over R10 mil­lion is ridicu­lous. The to­tal amount should be just more than R1 mil­lion,” she told City Press this week.

Savita puts the drama down to a “misun­der­stand­ing”, which she says she un­rav­elled af­ter the bank served her with a sum­mons as the ex­ecutrix of her late hus­band’s es­tate.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments seen by City Press, a R1.62 mil­lion mort­gage bond reg­is­tered in Oc­to­ber 2001 was signed by both Savita and Vuyo. Their monthly re­pay­ment was set at R9 262.88.

Savita says she is aware of the amount that is out­stand­ing, but she is dis­put­ing the ex­is­tence of a sec­ond loan – R2.04 mil­lion – which the bank says she also owes.

In court pa­pers, FNB claims that the cou­ple ap­plied for the sec­ond bond on their home in Septem­ber 2004.

“I, the plain­tiff, have no doc­u­men­ta­tion or proof or de­fen­dant sig­na­tures of this sec­ond bond. FNB needs to pro­vide proof of such with sig­na­tures from both the de­ceased and my­self,” she said.

FNB Home Loans CEO Mar­ius Marais con­firmed that the bank had taken le­gal ac­tion against Mbuli to re­cover the out­stand­ing mort­gage loans.

He said the bank dis­puted that Savita had no knowl­edge of the ad­di­tional R2 mil­lion bond.

“There has been a sus­tained non­pay­ment of in­stal­ments,” he said. “The bank can con­firm that the mat­ter is pend­ing be­fore the court. FNB awaits the out­come of the le­gal process.”

Marais de­clined to com­ment fur­ther be­cause the de­tails of the case re­main con­fi­den­tial.

“It is, how­ever, im­por­tant to note that the out­stand­ing bal­ance is far less than re­ported,” he said.

Savita may be able to get out of re­pay­ing the ad­di­tional loan be­cause court pa­pers re­veal that FNB ad­mit­ted that the loan doc­u­ment had been lost, and it has no sup­port­ing doc­u­ments to prove its claim against Vuyo’s es­tate.

“Nei­ther the orig­i­nal nor a copy of the grant of loan could be found,” the bank said.

Marais hinted that the bank had ex­hausted ev­ery av­enue to get its money back, with­out suc­cess.

“FNB’s pol­icy is to ex­plore ev­ery pos­si­ble av­enue to set­tle the ar­rears and, where the cir­cum­stances are suit­able, this in­cludes of­fer­ing cus­tomers re­vised pay­ment op­tions,” Marais said.

Vuyo (46) was with his son, who was then 13, when he col­lapsed due to a blood clot in his lung while watch­ing a rugby match be­tween the Chee­tahs and the Reds at the Free State Sta­dium two years ago. He died later at the Medi­clinic hos­pi­tal in Bloem­fontein.

He and Savita had sep­a­rated two years be­fore his death, and she moved out of their home and into a town­house they owned in another sub­urb be­cause he had al­legedly been un­faith­ful to her.

How­ever, af­ter he died in May 2013, Savita re­vealed that they were about to rec­on­cile and that she had moved back into their home four months be­fore he died.

She told City Press that in the last con­ver­sa­tion she had with Vuyo be­fore he drove to Bloem­fontein to watch the rugby, he asked her to for­give him. “He said to me ‘Ux­olo, thando’. “Vuyo and I were liv­ing to­gether with my chil­dren at the time of his death be­cause he wanted to fix his mar­riage,” she said at the time.

“[He] did not want to sign di­vorce pa­pers be­cause he loved me. Vuyo loved Savita. He was my hus­band.”

Savita Mbuli

Vuyo Mbuli

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