Debt could clip Zuma jnr’s wings

2013-04-29 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The owner of a game farm in KwaZulu-Natal wants to have President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, sequestrated for unpaid debts of R130 223.

The owner, John Hilcove, took the case to court and the high court in KwaZulu-Natal issued a warrant for the unpaid debt against Zuma Jnr in February 2012. The warrant makes provision for interest of 15,5% per year on the unpaid amount.

But Hilcove has been struggling to collect the money. A spokesperson for Hilcove’s attorneys, Venn Nemeth and Hart of Pietermaritzburg, said they had been trying for longer than a year to collect the debt, without success.

The court had now given the attorneys permission to seize Zuma jnr’s assets, but the attorneys told Beeld on Friday there were no assets in Zuma jnr’s name that they could find. “We have however established that Mr [Edward] Zuma has no assets in his name,” the attorneys said.

This after the sheriff had seized Zuma jnr’s assets in June 2012 in an effort to settle debts of about R1,5 million to wedding planner Paul Mann.

Edward Zuma married Phumelele Shange in October 2011 at the private Tala Game Reserve near Camperdown, which belongs to Hilcove, an exclusive function that reportedly cost R2,5 million. The court papers, which sister paper Beeld saw, state that Zuma jnr lives in Durban North. Hilcove’s attorneys said the house is not in his name.

Last week, Zuma jnr was announced as the shareholder in a new low-cost airline in South Africa. The European airline group Fastjet announced it would start flights in South Africa in co-operation with Zuma jnr’s investment company, Blockbuster. The plan is for Fastjet to own 25% of the new airline, with Blockbuster owning 75%.

A Moneyweb investigation last week found that Blockbuster was registered only in 2011 with the company directors listed as Zuma jnr, Yusuf Kajee, Zakkiyah Vawda and Paul de Robbillard. De Robbillard — according to Moneyweb — is also linked to to Fastjet’s main shareholder, Lonhro Aviation. Fastjet plans to start flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town at the end of May. The airline hopes to fill the gap left in the local market by the provisional liquidation of of 1Time.

Zuma jnr could not be reached for comment. His attorney told M&G his client’s financial details would not be shared with the media.

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