Player and King settle out of court

2013-09-25 00:00

GARY Player and the controversial businessman Dave King had settled out of court, after King earlier this year demanded R33,4 million from the South African golf legend.

Rael Gootkin, Player’s attorney, confirmed his client and King had reached an agreement.

Player, one of South Africa’s most illustrious sportsmen, said in June he would prove in court that he did not owe his former friend a cent of the money King had claimed.

King alleged that Player had never repaid a loan of $1 million (at the time about R6,1 million), 14 years ago and demanded the money plus interest.

King asked the Grahamstown High Court to confiscate shares in a stud farm outside Colesberg.

His court papers stated that one of his trusts, Talacar Holdings, has a 49% shareholding in the farm and that Player holds the remaining 51%.

The court granted an interim interdict to King.

Gootkin said he was not in a position to comment on the details of the settlement, which was subject to suspended conditions that had to be met by November 14, when the matter would be concluded.

Gootkin did not want to say if the agreement involved any payment to King.

In April Player had stated in an attorney’s letter that there was no loan agreement between him and King, but he conceded that he had received R6,1 million from King.

Player said King had in 1999 volunteered to settle Player’s debt of R6,1 million with IMG Sport Management.

King would, in exchange, get full access to Player, travel with him to major tournaments like the British Open and the Masters in Augusta and even be his caddy.

King said this was not true and stated they had concluded a loan agreement on 18 July 1999 when he caddied for Player in the British Open at Carnoustie in Scotland.

His court papers read that he had already caddied for Player at that stage and had carried his bag at a previous masters event. Player had told him in Scotland that he was struggling financially and asked King for a loan.

King and the South African Revenue Service last month reached an agreement for payment of R706,7 million after a protracted battle over unpaid taxes.

Charges of money laundering and tax evasion were dropped and King accepted liability for 41 lesser counts of breaching the South African Income Tax Act, which included failure to disclose information and provide accurate information regarding income earned over a number of years.

Deborah di Siena, King’s lawyer, said she would comment on the matter today.

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