Kenny swaps sushi for wine

2012-08-04 17:54

Has Kenny Kunene traded in his sushi lifestyle to become a wine farmer?

Ex-convict and nightclub king Kunene is at the centre of the ­purchase of a prized Western Cape wine farm once owned by a ­notorious tax dodger.

Last Saturday, Kunene and Ukrainian businessman Denys Aloshyn arrived at Quoin Rock Vineyards near Cape Agulhas and submitted the winning bid of R13 million for the farm.

When asked this week by City Press if he had bought Quoin Rock, Kunene said: “Yes.”

He said he was on family business in the Free State and promised to provide City Press with ­more details about the purchase, but didn’t answer his phone again.

However, Kunene celebrated his new acquisition on Twitter.

On July 28, he tweeted: “Thanx 2all who wished me well, I became the highest bidder @da auction n got the farm. God is great.”

Quoin Rock consists of two farms: the 3 000 hectare farm near Cape Agulhas that Kunene and Aloshyn bought, and the 194 hectare Quoin Rock Wine Estate near Stellenbosch.

According to the purchase agreement, the Cape Agulhas farm was sold to a South African company with Aloshyn as the purchaser.

The company is registered in the name of, among others, Cape Town chartered accountant Dale Irvine, who said he’d been asked by an offshore company to do the transaction.

Irvine initially said he had never heard of Aloshyn and did not know what Kunene’s involvement was, but later called back to say the offshore company was ­based in Mauritius, and had commissioned Kunene and Aloshyn to purchase on its behalf.

The wine estate was at the centre of the Auction Alliance scandal earlier this year when billionaire businesswoman Wendy Appelbaum bought the Stellenbosch farm for R55 million.

She later disputed the legality of the sale, and said she believed she had been the only genuine bidder at the auction and that she had in effect been bidding against herself.

Auction Alliance founder Rael Levitt stepped down as chief executive during the controversy.

Irvine said that the offshore company had instructed Kunene and his partner to buy the Stellenbosch Quoin Rock wine farm too.

The Stellenbosch property is estimated to be worth between R60 million and R80 million, and is to be sold by tender this month.

The Cape Agulhas farm has two houses, a renovated wine tasting venue and 23 hectares of prized vineyard.

People who attended the auction said Aloshyn and Kunene did the bidding together and left together.

Quoin Rock was previously owned by tax dodger Dave King and the auction was part of the attempt by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) to recover his tax debt.

Sars attached Quoin Rock from King in July last year.

The North Gauteng High Court found in 2002 that King owed Sars R1.4 billion in unpaid taxes.

Kunene stepped into the limelight as the co-owner of ZAR nightclub in Sandton.

The club was frequented by the rich and famous, and Kunene became infamous for eating sushi off the bodies of seminaked women and for throwing lavish parties in his own honour.

He was widely condemned by Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi for flaunting his wealth in the faces of millions of poor people in South Africa.

Kunene, who spent six years in prison for fraud, has in the meantime closed ZAR in Joburg, although the club in Greenpoint, Cape Town, is still open.

Kunene was a guest of honour at the wedding of President Jacob Zuma’s daughter Duduzile and is often seen partying with ANC politicians.

It was Kunene’s company that recently organised the ANC’s Northern Cape conference.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.