Cape Town - The proposed sale of Bloemfontein Celtic has fallen through due to a huge debt of R43 million being owed to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) by owner Max Tshabalala.
According to a report by TimesLive, the sale to potential buyers Sinki Leshabane and Dr Moeketsi Mosola has fallen through after hitting several stumbling blocks.
The purchase which was agreed in principle, included a total fee of R40 million, of which a deposit of R22 million had to be made by last week, was terminated on Tuesday.
The transfer of ownership hit a snag when it was discovered that Tshabalala owed a huge outstanding debt to SARS, as well as a technicality resulting in two duplicate companies being registered as Celtic.
However Tshabalala's lawyer and cousin, Mandla Tshabalala strongly refuted these claims as viable reasons for the termination of any potential deal, insisting that the buyers were searching for excuses.
"Max owes Sars. It includes Celtic and his other companies‚" Mandla Tshabalala told TimesLIVE.
"There is a deferment payment plan. He has brought the amount down significantly through it. Sars have got the right to a TPA – third party appointment.
"If they know that there’s a creditor who owes a taxpayer‚ and that taxpayer owes Sars‚ then they can go directly to that creditor.
"Max voluntarily let Sars know about this transaction. They correctly issued a TPA to the potential buyers.
"Which is not a train smash. Max went to the potential buyers and said‚ ‘Even with the TPA‚ this deal still continues. When you’ve paid Sars it’s like you’ve paid me’.
"Sars even came with a beautiful payment plan and said‚ 'In the R22 million‚ pay R15 million and then run your business‚ and then maybe in 30 days pay the remainder'.
"There was no stumbling block. They just had to pay the TPA and the ownership would have passed to them."
Mandla also clarified the reasons for Celtic being registered twice as a company under Max Tshabalala while adding that these stumbling blocks were easy obstacles to overcome in a potential sale.
"When we did our research we found that the previous Bloem Celtic company of Dr Molemela was never liquidated.
"The company registered under Phakiso was only for a year in 2015. Later it was registered under Max’s name.
"So if the new owners really wanted to buy these are things that could have been resolved easily."