Row over vehicles

2016-12-21 06:01

THE widow of wealthy Pietermaritzburg taxi owner Bongani Clement Zondi, who was murdered in Chase Valley in 2014, is embroiled in a high court battle with her late husband’s oldest son over vehicles in the estate.

The vehicles are four Toyota Quantums, three Toyota Hi Aces, a Jaguar S Type, a Hino 300 Truck, a Toyota Hilux, three Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and two Foton 13-seater minibuses

Zondi’s widow, Amanda, replaced Andile Zondi and his sister, Qinisa, as executor of her late husband’s estate last year.

There are eight heirs to the estate.

Amanda Zondi said apart from her and the child she had with her late husband, he was survived by six other children, three of whom were still minors.

According to the court papers, Zondi initially felt aggrieved that she was not considered for the executorship of the estate and raised the matter with the Master of the High Court.

When she replaced Andile and Qinisa as executor last year, Andile took the matter to court in a bid to have her removed but the case was struck off the roll by Judge Jerome Mnguni.

Zondi alleges in a court affidavit that as executor she is obliged to take into her “custody and under her control” all property in the estate, but claims she is having “serious difficulties” with Andile.

In the recent application, she alleged that he had violated the Administration of Estates Act when he allegedly bought a total of 14 vehicles from the estate during the period that he and his sister were still joint executors of the estate.

He also transferred a 15th vehicle — a Foton 13-seater minibus — to a certain Z. E. Duma.

She says in her affidavit that Andile acted “without permission from herself and the other heirs”.

Her advocate, Chris Snyman, SC, urged Judge Mahendra Chetty to declare the purchases of the vehicles by Andile to be “null and void”.

He said all the other heirs to the estate support Zondi’s application in spite of Andile’s claim that they were all “happy” for him to buy the vehicles.

“At the very least my client [Amanda Zondi] and her child never consented,” said Snyman.

Advocate Anton Fleming, representing Andile, argued that he had acted “openly and honestly” with regard to the purchase of the vehicles.

He argued that even if the master of the high court did not consent to the sales as required by the Administration of Estates Act, the court still has a discretion to confirm the transactions.

In her affidavit, Zondi accused Andile of failing to present a true picture of the assets in the estate when he lodged the original inventory.

According to her, Andile had “concealed assets” to the tune of over R6,8 million.

Zondi said in court papers her late husband was a wealthy man with assets worth R8 361 418,60.

In addition to this the nine taxis he operated had, and, she believes, still continue to generate a daily income of around R10 000.

In a replying affidavit, Andile denied having concealed assets or acted in bad faith (mala fides). He said when the original inventory was compiled he and the family were still “disorientated” and in shock.

• Bongani Zondi was shot dead on January 29, 2014 in an alleged hijacking outside the family home in Chase Valley Road. Two men were later arrested and appeared in court in connection with his death — one his former taxi driver Zamo­kuhle Zungu (31) and a human resources manager employed at Msunduzi Municipality, Zibonele Mkhize (49).

The charges against both men were eventually withdrawn, however, and to date the murder remains unsolved.

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