For­mer pres­i­dent's kids face be­ing home­less af­ter bank and fun­der fight over sell­ing man­sion

Sunday World - - Front Page - By Aubrey Mothombeni moth­ombe­[email protected]­day­world.co.za

The honey­moon of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween for­mer Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and his bene­fac­tor of many years Zephrona Sizani Dubazana is over.

This af­ter Dubazana ap­proached the South Gaut­eng High Court this week to gain ac­cess to the con­tro­ver­sial Joburg house that Zuma lived in when he was fired by for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki as deputy pres­i­dent in 2005.

It was in the same house that Zuma was al­leged to have raped a wo­man in Novem­ber of that year. Fezek­ile Nt­sukela Kuzwayo, known as Kh­wezi dur­ing the rape trial, died in 2016. Zuma was ac­quit­ted of the rape charge in 2006, a year be­fore he be­came ANC pres­i­dent.

The house ap­pears to have been used pri­mar­ily by Zuma’s chil­dren with his late wife Kate Mantsho, Phumzile and Vusi. Vusi died this year.

A fight be­tween Dubazana and Absa could soon see the Zuma chil­dren evicted from the house.

Dubazana’s court pa­pers have also laid bare the truth be­hind the re­la­tion­ship be­tween her and Zuma and the ar­range­ments they en­tered into for him to use the pala­tial house.

Ac­cord­ing to her doc­u­ments, the busi­ness­woman and ANC MP has been rent­ing out the For­est Town home to the Zuma fam­ily.

In a shock rev­e­la­tion, she claimed her house was re­pos­sessed by Absa af­ter judg­ment to do so was given in March. This, she said, was as a re­sult of the Zuma fam­ily’s fail­ure to keep up with their monthly rental pay­ments.

She said in court pa­pers, she had agreed with the Zu­mas to de­posit their rental di­rectly into her bond ac­count.

Dubazana is now seek­ing re­lief to sell the house her­self to avoid fi­nan­cial losses af­ter Absa se­cured a court judg­ment to at­tach and sell it off at auc­tion.

The pa­pers show that the for­mer first fam­ily, through Zuma’s nephew Khu­lubuse rep­re­sented by Zuma’s lawyer Michael Hul­ley, had en­tered into an agree­ment to buy the prop­erty in 2009 for R7.5m but failed to se­cure a bond with any of the big banks de­spite sign­ing an agree­ment to take im­me­di­ate oc­cu­pa­tion.

The agree­ment, dated Septem­ber 14 2009 and at­tached to the court pa­pers, was al­legedly signed by Khu­lubuse us­ing a com­pany called Cyn­dara 92 (Pty) Ltd, which was yet to be es­tab­lished.

At the time, Zuma had lived in the house for four years un­der a rental agree­ment en­tered into by Khu­lubuse us­ing his trust ac­count with the house own­ers, Hola Re­cruit­ment and Se­lec­tion Ser­vices, a com­pany wholly owned by Dubazana.

Af­ter learn­ing of the bank’s de­ci­sion to at­tach the prop­erty due to ar­rears and the owner’s de­ci­sion to sell the prop­erty to avoid it be­ing auc­tioned off, Zuma’s daugh­ter, Phumzile, made a re­duced of­fer of R3.8m to buy the house. Ac­cord­ing to her signed of­fer to pur­chase, she lives in the prop­erty.

The doc­u­ments show Phumzile made the of­fer to prop­erty agents FIRZT through a bond loan of R3.4m, which was ex­pected to be se­cured be­fore Novem­ber 30 2018.

Phumzile also of­fered to pay a de­posit of R380,000 on Novem­ber 20 2018.

But her of­fer was re­jected by Dubazana who ad­vised her about an ear­lier agree­ment of R7.5m which fell through as Khu­lubuse failed to raise the money.

The court pa­pers show for­mer Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma al­legedly signed as wit­ness on Phumzile’s of­fer to pur­chase.

Dubazana and her com­pany are also seek­ing an or­der forc­ing the Zuma fam­ily and Khu­lubuse, who are con­sid­ered to be the oc­cu­piers of the prop­erty, to give her and her es­tate agent ac­cess to the house to al­low the pho­tog­ra­pher to take pic­tures so that they can mar­ket and sell the house.

Dubazana also prays to the court that po­ten­tial buy­ers be al­lowed to en­ter the prop­erty for view­ing on Sun­days.

This was be­cause the oc­cu­piers of the house and Khu­lubuse had pre­vi­ously re­fused her and an es­tate agent ac­cess to the prop­erty.

“The prop­erty was pur­chased on or about 22 June in 2005 and a bond in the amount of R3.6m was reg­is­tered in favour of Absa bank. On or about Septem­ber 13 2009 and in Jo­han­nes­burg, a writ­ten agree­ment of sale … was en­tered into and signed … in Dur­ban on or about 14 Septem­ber 2009 in terms of which the 1st re­spon­dent [Khu­lubuse] pur­chased the prop­erty for the sun of R7.5m. The sale was not com­pleted be­cause the 1st re­spon­dent failed to ob­tain a loan from a bank as re­quired in terms ... of the agree­ment of sale and sale was can­celled.

“How­ever, I en­tered into an oral agree­ment … in terms of which they would re­side in the prop­erty and would be re­spon­si­ble for the monthly pay­ments to Absa bank; and the monthly ac­counts of the city of Jo­han­nes­burg mu­nic­i­pal­ity in re­spect of rates and taxes, lights and wa­ter and any other mu­nic­i­pal charges.

Dubazana said she later dis­cov­ered that Khu­lubuse and

“The prop­erty was at­tached [by the bank] and due to be sold on sev­eral oc­ca­sions”

his fam­ily failed to pay for the bond as she was no­ti­fied by the bank of ar­rears on her ac­count.

She said the bank then at­tached the prop­erty.

Upon learn­ing about the bank’s in­ten­tions, Dubazana opted to sell the prop­erty her­self, so she in­structed her lawyers to write to Khu­lubuse and the Zuma fam­ily to in­form them about her de­ci­sion.

She said af­ter speak­ing to Khu­lubuse and telling him about the bank’s de­ci­sion, he asked her for a week and promised to come back to her.

“A few days later I re­ceived an of­fer to pur­chase the prop­erty for R3.8m. This was clearly com­pletely un­ac­cept­able to me es­pe­cially hav­ing re­gard to the agree­ment we had en­tered into in 2009 when his or her com­pany was go­ing to pur­chase the prop­erty for R7.5m. In ad­di­tion, the of­fer did not cover the bal­ance of the bond due to Absa and I re­jected the of­fer.”

Ac­cord­ing to let­ters of de­mands ex­changed be­tween the two par­ties and an­nexed to the ap­pli­ca­tion, the house was res­cued at the last minute sev­eral times by Hul­ley af­ter Khu­lubuse and the first fam­ily had failed to pay.

“The prop­erty was at­tached and was due to be sold on sev­eral oc­ca­sions but each time, when I re­ported the pend­ing sale to Mr Hul­ley, the sale was can­celled due to last minute pay­ments by Mr Hul­ley.”

Dubazana’s lawyer Brian Clay­ton also in­di­cated that Khu­lubuse, Hul­ley and Zuma’s fam­ily had ig­nored sev­eral let­ters sent to them ask­ing for per­mis­sion to ac­cess the prop­erty to con­duct val­u­a­tions to de­ter­mine its value.

“My at­tor­ney wrote to the re­spon­dents and on one oc­ca­sion the agent was per­mit­ted to view the prop­erty to get an over­all view and as­sess­ment of the prop­erty and a value of R6.5m was made.

“How­ever since the first per­mis­sion the re­spon­dents have failed to re­spond to let­ters from my at­tor­ney, and vis­its by the agent … have not been given ac­cess nec­es­sary to take photos and to bring the first of the po­ten­tial buy­ers. ”

Dubazana said two let­ters in Septem­ber 2018 were hand de­liv­ered to se­cu­rity staff who guard the house on a 24hour ba­sis, but still no re­sponse was re­ceived.

/ Ka­belo Mokoena

Zephrona Sizani Dubazana’s house in For­est Town is up for sale. For­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s fam­ily is be­ing evicted from the prop­erty.

For­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s fam­ily will have to walk out of a house they have been liv­ing in.

Khu­lubuse Zuma, nephew of for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, made an of­fer to buy the house but could not raise the R7.5m sell­ing price./Ro­gan Ward

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.