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Tycoons to lose homes

Luxury homes in South Africa are becoming more available, with two prominent businessmen giving up their residences because of financial woes, according to media reports on Sunday.

The Sunday Times reported that Indian liquor and airline tycoon Vijay Mallya had sold his Camps Bay mansion for R100m, but did not say when the sale took place.

Mallya's spokesperson Prakash Mirpuri denied that his local assets had been affected by his financial troubles, the newspaper reported.

He bought the five-bedroom house for R60m two years ago.

Mallya sold another luxury property, in Bantry Bay, Cape Town, for R18m in April, having paid R25m for it in 2009.

Mallya owns struggling Kingfisher Airlines in India, which carries debt of R8.7bn.

Kingfisher has not paid its staff for months, and its licence to operate has been cancelled.

"Dr Mallya has extensive business interests in many parts of the world, including South Africa. None of these businesses are connected to Kingfisher Airlines," Mirpuri told the Sunday Times.

Meanwhile, City Press reported that South African businessman Mzi Khumalo was likely to lose his home in Zimbali, in KwaZulu-Natal.

Khumalo, his family trust, and its trustees had been issued with a R17m judgment by the High Court in Johannesburg for non-payment on three mortgage bonds.

Their lawyer Tayob Kamdar denied they owed money to RMB Private Bank.

"Our clients definitely intend challenging the default judgment," he told the newspaper.

"We have been instructed to investigate the matter and bring an application rescinding the judgment."

He said his clients had made all the payments due.

Last year, RMB sent letters of demand to Khumalo, his wife Makhosazana, Constitutional Court Judge Ray Zondo, and asset manager Charles Graham.

Makhosazana, Zondo, and Graham are trustees of Khumalo's Mawela Family Trust.

The bank wanted R10.1m from the trustees, and R6.5m from Khumalo, City Press reported.

(Fin24)



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