Party may be over for Gugs wine fest

2013-10-22 17:27

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The Gugulethu Wine Festival might have gone belly-up, with organiser Mzoli Ngcawuzele being hauled to court over unpaid debt of R94 000.

In May, nearly 5 000 people descended on the Gugulethu Square Mall in Cape Town for the third instalment of the annual winefest, hosted by the popular township restaurant and watering hole, Mzoli’s Place.

Wine flowed at the R90-a-head bash, which boasted a glamorous JC Le Roux Lounge, “fun, food, fabulousness, a few celebrity appearances” and even roaming make-up artists.

Five months later, the party might be over for good as the wine festival has been placed under provisional liquidation by the Western Cape High Court.

Events infrastructure company Distinctive Choice filed an application to have the festival wound up over R94 000 after repeated fruitless attempts to be paid.

Distinctive Choice provided furniture and accessories – including eight chandeliers, a 20 metre-long red carpet, and 23 no-smoking signs – for the event on May 24 and 25.

Co-founders Mzoli Ngcawuzele and Lungile Mbalo will have the opportunity to explain in court on November 22. Ngcawuzele is somewhat of a local celebrity. His restaurant’s patrons range from tourists to celebrities like DJ Fresh and politicians such as Tony Yengeni.

In a statement after the last festival instalment, Ngcawuzele and Mbalo described the event as “the most fun-filled, vibrant and integrated wine festival in the Western Cape to date”.

They thanked Cape Town Tourism for their support, elaborating on the “feel-good emotion that was felt and displayed by everyone at the festival”.

“Our people may not have big houses and big cars yet, but they have love and this was reciprocated with open arms,” the statement read.

Ngcawuzele did not answer his mobile phone this afternoon and a woman at the restaurant’s office said she was unable to comment.

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