Sun goes down on Afro-chic designers

2011-07-23 16:01

The mysterious saga of the hubby-and-wife Sun Goddess clothing empire has taken a new twist.

The Afro-chic clothing label, which was the toast of the continent in the late 90s, first experienced a rupture in 2009 when the shops started disappearing.

This week, City Press confirmed that the owners, Thando and Vanya Mangaliso, had filed for “voluntary liquidation” of holding company Limani Strategic Marketing and Management.

The couple, who virtually went underground when their much-vaunted label started sinking, recently resurfaced in Sandton, where the last of their upmarket stores is located.

But they never returned calls or responded to emails. City Press twice went to visit the shop, and sales assistants confirmed Vanya had received the messages but was “not available” on both occasions.

The Mangaliso’s woes appeared to extend beyond finances. This week, management at Durban’s Gateway Mall, where another Sun Goddess store was located, confirmed they’d filed papers with lawyers.

“We can’t comment because the matter with Sun Goddess is being handled legally,” they stated in an email.

Management at Joburg’s Zone@Rosebank Mall also gave a similar reply when asked why the Sun Goddess store had closed down.
They said the matter is between “landlord and tenant”.

A former employee of the couple, who refused to be named, said the first time they knew they were out of jobs was when they got to work and found the Rosebank store locked with chains.

“They were behind with the rent but never wanted to tell us anything, and one morning we got to work and the shop was locked by centre management,” she said.

“They didn’t call us to let us know what was happening, so we all moved on and found jobs elsewhere.”

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