Deal to smooth over Zu­mas’ evic­tion

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - BON­GANI NKOSI bon­[email protected]

LIT­I­GA­TION brought in a bid to evict former pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s fam­ily from their posh rented home in For­est Town, Jo­han­nes­burg, looks set to be set­tled out of court.

Busi­ness­woman and ANC MP Zephrona Sizani Dubazana dragged the Zu­mas to the South Gaut­eng High Court, Jo­han­nes­burg, in her at­tempt to re­pos­sess the home pro­cured for Zuma af­ter he was axed from gov­ern­ment in 2005.

Af­ter buy­ing the house to the tune of R3.6 mil­lion via her com­pany Hola Re­cruit­ment and Se­lec­tion Ser­vices, Dubazana rented it to Zuma.

Dubazana was pre­vi­ously la­belled a Zuma bene­fac­tor, and has faced al­le­ga­tions that her busi­nesses scored gov­ern­ment con­tracts due to this.

Dubazana re­sorted to the courts late last year af­ter the Zu­mas al­legedly de­faulted on rent.

The rent was paid into the bond Hola Re­cruit­ment held with Absa.

Due to the de­fault­ing, Absa won a court judg­ment against Hola Re­cruit­ment last year to at­tach the house.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, Dubazana wanted to gain ac­cess to the house so she could sell it via her pre­ferred es­tate agency.

This would avoid Absa’s in­tended auc­tion and save Dubazana some sig­nif­i­cant money.

Zuma’s daugh­ter, Phumzile, re­port­edly of­fered to buy the prop­erty for R3.4m, but Dubazana re­jected it on grounds that she agreed to sell it to the Zu­mas for R7.5m in 2009.

Judge In­grid Op­per­man was due to hear Dubazana’s ap­pli­ca­tion yes­ter­day, but lawyers asked her to post­pone the hear­ing un­til later in the week.

Lawyers in­formed Judge Op­per­man ne­go­ti­a­tions were afoot to deal with the mat­ter, hence their re­quest for a post­pone­ment.

Brian Clay­ton, Dubazana’s lawyer, would not be drawn to com­ment on the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“I don’t want to prej­u­dice things,” he said.

The house on Ep­ping Road, For­est Town, has been dogged by con­tro­versy pre­vi­ously.

Ac­cu­sa­tions of rape Zuma faced in 2006 stemmed from the same home.

The late Fezek­ile Nt­sukela Kuzwayo, known as Kh­wezi, al­leged that Zuma raped her when she vis­ited him there.

Zuma was ac­quit­ted and went on to be­come pres­i­dent of both the ANC and the coun­try.

Zuma’s spokesper­son, Vuk­ile Matha­bela, last year con­firmed that the house was up for sale.

There’s no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on why Zuma placed the house on the mar­ket. The house was again in the news in 2013. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, it owed Joburg coun­cil nearly R900 000 for wa­ter, elec­tric­ity and other charges.

The City of Jo­han­nes­burg re­futed the re­ports at the time, in­sist­ing that the prop­erty owed just about R12 822 for rates and taxes.

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