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#R200m Ballito Mansion u/c

12969 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ToxicBunny
This one was first rumored for Mugabe... but it is for another Zimbabwean also named Robert. Massive place though.
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Mugabe ‘may be moving to Ballito’April 21 2012 at 02:17pm
By Lyse Comins


Ballito is abuzz with word that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is building a mansion next door to the up-market housing estate, Zimbali.

And tight security around the identity of the owner is serving only to amplify the talk on the North Coast and among the jet-set in Durban.

The estimated R200 to R300 million development dubbed “House of Thozi” is said to comprise a main house, two man-made dams, which can be seen in an aerial photograph taken by this week, an under-ground bunker with a security house upstairs, bullet-proof windows and a private helipad. There are also apparently plans for a hotel to be built on the roughly 72 000 square-metre site comprising two properties bought for the development.

DA local councillor Colin Marsh said he had been inundated with calls from journalists wanting to find out who was behind the development at the old Pottery Gallery site off the M4 highway, which has been under construction for the past year. He said he was aware of the talk that Mugabe was building the mansion but he had also been told that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were coming to the North Coast to make a movie and that they had bought a property in Zimbali.

“Everyone is looking for the story and they can’t find the truth,” Marsh said.

He said he had done a deeds search on the properties, which he said were in the names of Straightprops 92 of which Martin Sherwood is a director, and Robert Mauvis, who are believed to be the sellers.

The Saturday Star was unable to confirm this or to get comment from the sellers yesterday. Marsh said the properties had sold for R100 million and R70 million.

A local businessman, who asked to remain anonymous, said the property was surrounded by a double security fence and the development value was estimated at around R200 million. He said local contractors had been sworn to secrecy regarding the identity of the owner. Completion is expected in about two months.

“They just say it’s a black doctor from Zimbabwe, but everyone says that it is him (Mugabe) because he’s got that kind of money,” he said.

Another local property businessman said that the sellers had signed confidentiality agreements “but talk is that the buyer was Mugabe’s minister of security who is developing a complex for Mugabe and his ministers”.

When the Saturday Star’s sister paper, The Independent on Saturday, tried to visit the development this week a well-dressed plain clothed security guard politely refused entry and when asked if Mugabe was the owner said “people are lying”. He said the owner of the house was “Thozi”.

Another DA councillor said he had also heard the talk and was outraged at the thought of Mugabe living in Ballito.

“He has stolen all the money from that country and he wants to come here now. Why should we keep him? He should rather retire in his own country or go to his partners in China. He must go to the Far East, to Hong Kong. He won’t get a visa to any other country,” he said.

However, Ballito and KZN Cancer Support Network co-ordinator Jaime Ernst said she had heard it was “definitely Mugabe” who was building at the old Pottery Gallery.

“Imagine if he does move here? He is an old man and I have absolute compassion for the elderly no matter what you have done because when you are old you reassess what you have done if you have still got all your senses. If the rumour is true that he has got cancer then it’s very likely that I might get called in to help him. He is aged and ill and it is never nice to be sick,” Ernst said.

The staff of four major estate agents in Ballito said they were all aware of the development and that they had also heard that Mugabe was behind the development. An estate agent said that one of the properties had been listed for R35 million in 2010 but it had been sold by another agent.

“It was a one-hectare stand and the house size was 1 700 sqm with four bedrooms and four en-suite bathrooms as well as additional flatlets and four garages,” she said.

However, when the agent who had apparently sold the property was approached for comment he denied any involvement in the deal.

“We have not done any business with Robert Mugabe. All our information is confidential. We have not sold a R35 million property. I heard it was Robert Mugabe and then it was Julius Malema. Neither I nor any of my agents has sold a R35 million property,” he said.

“Eventually, the truth will come out if Mugabe arrives here,” he said.

International Relations and Co-operation spokesman Clayson Monyela said he was not aware of Mugabe buying in Ballito. But the department did not have to approve foreign buyers’ property deals. - Saturday Star
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Owner of Ballito lair revealed
By matthewsavides on April 24, 2012

It might not belong to Robert Mugabe, but a controversial multimillion-rand Ballito property could very well belong to one of his allies, a diamond-dealing Zimbabwean who shares his first name.

The Sunday Tribune was told the property could belong to Robert Mhlanga, a former air vice-marshal who was, apparently, at one point Mugabe’s personal pilot.

Mhlanga was also a prosecution witness in the 2003 treason trial of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Rumours that it was Mugabe’s house were first published by the North Coast Courier seven months ago. But it now appears the property belongs to a Robert from Zimbabwe – just not the one people suggested.

A nearby property owner, who asked not to be named, confirmed the owner was Zimbabwean. He said the man, whom he had met, was “pleasant”, but was a “very private man”. He only knew him as “Dr Mhlanga”, that he made his money through dealing in various commodities and had lived there for about eight months.

This was in line with other information gathered by the Tribune over the past week from other residents and business people in Ballito. It is also a job profile that matches Mhlanga and his companies.

“It’s typical of what happens in a small town. Someone says it’s Mugabe’s house and then that’s what it becomes in everyone’s mind. But it’s not him (Mugabe),” the resident said.

Mhlanga is the chairman of Mbada Diamonds, a Zimbabwean-based company that was awarded mining rights at Chiadzwa, Zimbabwe, by Mugabe’s government. UK-based news organisation The Zimbabwean reported in a 2010 article that government sources revealed that First Lady Grace Mugabe had a substantial interest in Mbada Diamonds.

Mhlanga also has interests in a South African company, Liparm Construction, of which little is known. The company’s website indicates that it is involved in commodities, including diamonds, and mentions other companies linked to the diamond trade in Zimbabwe.

The Sunday Tribune has previously reported on a study released by British watchdog NGO Global Witness, which raised concerns about diamond mining in Zimbabwe. It named Mbada Diamonds as one of the companies it was concerned about.

It appears that Mhlanga certainly has the money to fund the massive Ballito development, which is estimated to be in the region of R300 million. The grounds are bordered on the south by the luxury Zimbali Estate and on the north by the old Pottery Gallery and the Hilltop Estate. The property starts just 100m from the M4 freeway, but security is tight. A large fence circles the entire piece of land and the entrance is guarded around the clock. A thick barrier of trees makes it impossible to see anything that’s happening inside.

But aerial pictures show the main house that fronts on to a swimming pool and a man-made lake, and has spectacular views of a second man-made lake and the Indian Ocean. There is some construction beside the first lake, but it’s unclear what it might be.

Further down towards the ocean, at the second lake, another big building is being erected, albeit smaller than the main house.

For more than a week, the Tribune has tried to find out about the property, even contacting the former owner of the land, Martin Sherwood, the main contractor on the developments, several sub-contractors and property agencies in the area. All would not speak or did not know who the owner was.

Sherwood said: “I can’t disclose who the owners are. One of the conditions of sale was that I sign a confidentiality agreement.”

He was asked if he could confirm or deny the rumours about the ownership of the land, but he said he was unable to do so.

Stefanutti Stocks, the main contractor on the project, also refused to comment. Director Graham Carver said: “I am not at liberty to divulge any information at all. I don’t want to discuss the project.”

He said that a confidentiality agreement had been signed, and the company won the work on a private tender. Earlier he had said he would provide the name of the developer, but later said he was not allowed to do so.

An estate agent said: “Nobody knows who it is. There is a huge amount of speculation.”

Apart from the Mugabe rumours, it was also suggested that a Hollywood star – possibly Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – had decided to make the prime piece of real estate one of their homes.

It has also been reported that Mhlanga was the chief of staff operations at the National Command Centre, which controlled the announcement of the disputed 2002 Zimbabwean presidential election results.
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Town planner in the dark over Ballito lair
May 12 2012 at 11:56am
By Lyse Comins


Mystery continues to surround the mansion on the hill next door to Zimbali. And it seems that not even the local town planner has been adequately briefed on the details of the development.

Ballito residents and estate agents have been buzzing with the word for months that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe or one of his generals, Robert Mhlanga, is building the estimated R200 million mansion complete with two man-made lakes, bullet proof windows, a helipad and an underground bunker beneath a security building.

DA councillor Colin Marsh said building inspectors, armed with copies of articles and published photos that appeared in The Independent on Saturday and Sunday Tribune, were recently refused access to the site when they arrived to check the plans and the building progress.

However, a spokesman for KwaDukuza municipality, Sifiso Zulu, said this week that the inspectors had eventually been allowed access to the site.

Marsh said he had done a deeds search on the properties, which he said were in the names of Straightprops 92 of which Martin Sherwood is a director, and local restaurateur Robert Mauvis, who are believed to be the sellers.

However, the IOS has established that one portion of the land on which the development lies is still in the name of Michelle Mauvis, the restaurateur’s wife, despite the fact that a local estate agent said the property had been sold a year ago. The seller of the other portion is believed to be Straightprops 92.

On why the property transfer was not yet reflected in the deeds office, Mauvis said: “Until the money is in the bank, it has not been sold.”

When the IOS asked Zulu who owned the properties; whether an enviromental impact study had been done, and whether plans had been submitted and approved for the new development, he could not provide clarity.

“With regard to the issues you have raised, the municipal (sic) is still establishing a number of things related to this development, including the ones you have raised,” Zulu said.

Meanwhile, the Southern African Litigation Centre welcomed a North Gauteng High Court ruling confirming that SA had an obligation under domestic and international law to probe and prosecute international crimes against humanity.

Centre director Nicole Fritz said the organisation had a docket that had sufficient evidence to launch an investigation into allegations of torture as crimes against humanity committed in Zimbabwe.

Independent on Saturday
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R200 million se moer.
more like R5mil. come some when are we going to get some half decent and accurate reporting in tis country
Yeah I don't get what's costing R200 million?
Thats the value of the contract with Stefanutti Stocks and i have it on word from people we know there. The land itself was sold for over R100m
Also, what are the costs of building 2 dams (one apparently sizable one) and a bunker system? I am supposing these contribute to that huge cost.
Mhlanga mansion battle rages on

June 23 2012 at 03:16pm
By Lyse Comins

The battle over planning approval for an estimated R200 million development in Ballito by an alleged business associate and former helicopter pilot of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe raged on in the Durban High Court this week.

This followed the High Court granting an interim order by consent to KwaDukuza Municipality in which the developer agreed not to occupy any of the new structures on the properties, to submit building plans, to allow access to building inspectors and to demolish any further work done on the properties should plans not be approved or opposition to the application fail. The court order read that it granted the order “as prayed” but it has emerged that this did not include an interdict asking them to stop work immediately.

The municipality, however, had issued two stop-work orders to project manager Tozamile Hogana, the third respondent in the matter. The other respondents are Straightprops 92, Formate (Pty) Ltd and Stefanutti Construction.

Robert Mhlanga, sole director of SalesTalk403 and Formate (Pty) Ltd, which owns the two plots of land next to Zimbali, this week lodged a counter-application and his responding papers, in which he claims that the municipality had “obstructed” and “frustrated” the developer in preventing his architect Ewald Plekker from lodging building plans.

He said one of the properties was agricultural land for which no building plans were legally required.

Municipality delays ‘act of bad faith’ -Mhlanga

Mhlanga lashed out at the Saturday Star this week after we named him as the mystery man behind the development, and a close associate of Robert Mugabe.

In his counter-application Mhlanga asked the court to order the municipality to approve or refuse approval of the plans that have since been submitted for approval via a covering letter from his attorneys, after it allegedly refused to accept plans over the counter.

Mhlanga said the municipality had sent him a letter demanding “all planning approval rights for the property, letters of approval from the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, a letter of approval from the Department of Agriculture and a letter of approval from the Department of Transport” which it said was required before building plans could be submitted.

Mhlanga said the plans submission fee of R19 368.87 had been paid on May 14 but the municipality repeatedly refused to accept the plans.

He said his lawyer then sent a letter of complaint to the municipality on May 23 pointing out that the plans submission met all the requirements of the National Building Regulations.

“To insist on further documentation before it would even accept the submission of the plans… was regarded as an act of bad faith and an attempt by the applicant (KwaDukuza Municipality) to frustrate the terms of the court order,” Mhlanga said.

Mhlanga said the municipality was “misguided” in contending that it was a “major development” because the building works did not cover the entire properties.

He said although plans had now been submitted, the municipality had refused to consider or approve them until he had provided a site plan and approval letters from the various government departments.

He said the municipality was acting “illegally” and not according to the National Building Regulations.

In his answering affidavit to the municipality’s initial application for an order to stop work, Mhlanga said he was the sole director and shareholder of SalesTalk403 (Pty) Ltd, which had acquired Straightprops 92, which owned one of the properties.

“My intention was to develop the two properties as a private eco-sensitive residence,” Mhlanga said.

He said the existing house on the Straightprops 92 property had been built in about 2004 and the new features included “a new pond and gazebo structure”, “the guardhouse” and “a small changeroom incorporating ablutions”.

He said on the second property new features included “a gatehouse, certain driveways, a new pond which comprises a large water feature together with a gazebo comprising various rooms, which together are intended to function as an entertainment/recreational area”.

“The investigations conducted by me and the first respondent’s legal representatives led us to conclude that at the time of the construction of the existing dwelling… the land in question comprised agricultural land for which no plans were required by the local authority at the time,” Mhlanga said.

However, he said that the Straightprops property had since come to fall within the ambit of the town planning scheme.

“All improvements and structures that have been erected have, however, been professionally engineered and overseen and based on professional advice at the outset and during construction do not require environmental authorisation or the approval of any other authority for their erection,” Mhlanga said.

He added that the existing house had not been “extensively renovated and rebuilt” and that there was no underground construction, as suggested by the municipality.

“There is a slope on the property in question.

“Cut into the slope is a room which is built for the purposes of housing security monitors and security personnel.

“This is depicted on the building plan and on the site plan.”

This reportedly has a grassed roof to blend in with the surroundings.

“There are no below-ground works not depicted on the plan provided. There is a basement level depicted on the building plans submitted,” Mhlanga said.

“It has never been the intention to flout any applicable law,” Mhlanga said.

The Saturday Star tried twice this week to secure interview with Mhlanga. -Saturday Star
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My mate told me about this house the other day. he works for conrite and thet have the contract to build this "mega fence" bullet proof and all. he is on site evryday. he laso initially thought it was mugabe
Seems the kwadakuza municipality also not playing fair too on this one
Seems prime Umhlanga beachfront and Sandton property has also been snapped up by this guy...


Mugabe's man shells out R185m for prime SA property

20 Jul 2012 07:02
Owen Gagare & Lionel Faull

A trusted lieutenant of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has been on a R185-million property-buying spree in the past year, acquiring prime real estate on the Durban north coast and in one of the plushest areas of Sandton in Johannesburg.

Shadowy multimillionaire Robert Mhlanga is chairperson of Mbada Diamonds, one of the biggest mining companies operating in the controversial Marange diamond fields in southeastern Zimbabwe. Mbada recently said that it had turned over $600-million from diamonds in two years.

Mhlanga's property dealings have raised eyebrows, not least because he appears content to pay up to six times the going rate for the properties he buys. Speculation is rife in Zimbabwe that Mhlanga represents the Mugabe family's interests in Marange and has been buying properties on their behalf, although his role as a proxy for the Mugabes could not be proved by the Mail & Guardian.

Mugabe's spokesperson, George Charamba, said: "What is the link between Robert Mhlanga and Robert Mugabe except that they share the same [first] name? I find it strange that any Zimbabwean who makes money must be in association with Robert Mugabe. Is it being implied that Zimbabweans are not entrepreneurial enough?"

Mhlanga's personal assistant, who refused to give her name, asked the M&G to provide contact details, which was done on Monday this week and again on Wednesday. However, she did not respond to the newspaper.

Attempts to interview staff at the Sandton offices of Mhlanga's company, Liparm Corporation, also failed when the M&G was denied access. Security staff said it could take up to six months to secure an interview with the secretive businessman.

Ballito bolt hole
Questions were sent to Liparm, which did not respond. Lazelle Paola, a lawyer who has spoken on Mhlanga's behalf in the past, denied any business connection between Mhlanga and Mugabe, but said she was not authorised to answer other questions.

News broke in the South African media in May that Mhlanga had purchased a R200-million mansion on a hillside overlooking the prestigious Zimbali golf estate in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal, last year.

One report claimed that the mansion had "two man-made lakes, bulletproof windows, a helipad and an underground bunker beneath a security building". However, an M&G investigation has confirmed that Mhlanga actually paid R100-million for the property in September 2011. He had bought an adjoining property for R1.2-million in 2002.

In addition to the Ballito bolt hole, the M&G used property deed searches to trace another four properties bought by Mhlanga in the past 18 months. On one day in January 2011 alone, Mhlanga bought three properties for a combined

R60-million, including a penthouse suite in Umhlanga Rocks and a pair of mansions almost opposite one another in Hyde Park, Sandton. He followed up these purchases in August 2011 by buying a sprawling property – again on the Umhlanga beachfront – for R25-million.

Obscure name
The paperwork for all five new properties has been finalised at deeds offices in their respective jurisdictions, the most recent of which – the Ballito estate – was completed in May this year.

Mhlanga's modus operandi is to buy a shelf company with an obscure name, such as Formate Proprietary, or an obscure name followed by a string of numbers, such as Redlex 549. He uses the shelf companies as vehicles through which to buy property. Mhlanga is traceable as the sole director of these companies and, through the company names, to records of property sales at deeds offices.

The deed searches and deed of transfer documents obtained by the M&G show that Mhlanga paid up to six times more for each property than when it changed hands between previous owners. Both owners of the properties whose prices increased sixfold explained that they had made improvements to the properties. But whereas one owner "demolished and rebuilt", the other said he had done an "upgrade".

Property analysts say the housing market has been "mediocre" and "flat" for years. According to the FNB House Price Index, house prices have risen cumulatively by 15% since February 2008 – the last time house prices peaked in real terms in South Africa.

The M&G managed to contact two of the five properties' previous owners to seek an explanation. The others could not be reached, despite numerous attempts.

Brian Nathan, a well-known Umhlanga businessman involved in the marketing and distribution of alcohol and tobacco in Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, said he had bought his Umhlanga beachfront property "some 12 years ago, for just under R4-million". The property was registered in the name of his wife, Brenda. "The house was demolished and rebuilt so obviously the market value has increased. The property market has also improved over the last 12 years," he said.

Mhlanga's shelf company paid R25-million for Nathan's property.

An Umhlanga Rocks-based estate agent corroborated Nathan's account, saying he had improved the property and put it on the market for "R30-million to R35-million".

But the agent expressed surprise at the R31-million Mhlanga paid for an apartment at the Oyster Schelles complex on the famous Oyster Box Hotel premises in the town. According to the agent, the most expensive flats were the penthouses in each apartment building, whose asking price was between R10-million and R15-million "absolutely tops". Even at R10-million, the penthouses were on the market for two or three years before they were sold.

Asked whether any apartment in the complex was worth R31-million, the agent said: "Absolutely impossible ... never, ever."

The previous owner of Mhlanga's apartment, whose name is known to the M&G, was out of the country and could not be reached for comment.

Laurence Grigorov, who sold the two Hyde Park properties to Mhlanga for a combined R29-million, said he bought both properties for a combined R5-million in 2007 and "upgraded" them. "I believe he paid a fair price. The property had been on the market for more than a year when Mhlanga came with an offer. I heard he was a miner … who was I to refuse?" said Grigorov.

A real estate analyst said if Mhlanga was buying property at well above the going rate, he was not expecting to make a return on his investment.

"If you're buying property to let, there's a 7% to 8% return you would want to get back on your investment per year," the analyst said. "But if you're paying five to six times above market rates, then you're only going to get a 1% return on your investment. It doesn't make financial sense; you must be doing it for other reasons."

The analyst offered two possible scenarios: "There could be money laundering happening, where basically you're paying a lot more than it's worth but there is some other agreement with the guy who's selling it to you where a percentage of the transaction flows back to you later in some other transaction down the line.

"Or you may be trying to set up bolt holes or places of safety outside your country in places where governments are relatively friendly to you, like in South Africa, and you don't care about the price because you need them quickly."

Despite lawyers claiming this week that Mhlanga "has no business or other relationship" with Mugabe, he is a former air vice-marshal who is known to have piloted Mugabe's private helicopter. Mhlanga prefers to keep a low profile, however, and calls himself Dr Mhlanga.

The M&G traced all of his dozen South African shelf companies to a single address in Sandton's business district.

We were met by Mhlanga's security detail on the ground floor, who said the 17th floor was only accessible to people who had made an appointment, which might take six months. They said no one was allowed on the floor without an escort. The floor has been secured in its entirety for Mhlanga's commercial use.

A key player in the murky diamond trade
The Marange diamond trade is dominated by shadowy companies with links to senior Zimbabwe securocrats. The two main players are Anjin, a joint venture between companies linked to the Chinese and Zimbabwe military, and Mbada Diamonds.

Robert Mhlanga's involvement began in August 2009 when Grandwell Holdings, a Mauritius-registered company in which he is the sole director, signed a 50-50 joint venture agreement with Marange Resources to form Mbada Diamonds. Grandwell is a subsidiary of Reclamation Group, a South African scrap metal company, and Marange Resources is owned by the state-controlled Zimbabwe Mineral Development Company.

In May this year, Mhlanga told the Zimbabwean Parliament that Mbada Diamonds had a turnover of just less than $600-million over the past two years. It had paid half of this in dividends and taxes to Zimbabwe's treasury, 26% towards working capital and 24% (about R612-million) to private shareholders.

If Mhlanga's declaration to Parliament was an accurate reflection of Mbada's revenues, his R185-million property buying spree in South Africa over the same period would amount to 30% of the dividends accruing to Mbada's private shareholders.

It is not known what share Mhlanga holds in the opaque and complex group of companies associated with Mbada Diamonds.

According to a report on Marange's diamond industry, published in February by watchdog non-governmental organisation (NGO) Global Witness, an obscure Hong Kong-based company called Transfrontier acquired a 49.9% shareholding in Grandwell. As soon as Transfrontier came on board, the government increased Mbada's concession area in the diamond fields sevenfold.

Global Witness believes that Mhlanga is linked to Transfrontier, although its beneficiary owners are not known. Mhlanga is the sole director of Liparm Corporation, a company operating from Sandton (see "Mugabe's man shells out R185m for prime property").

Global Witness said that until recently, Liparm's website listed Transfrontier as one of its "sister companies alongside Skyview Minerals and Mbada Diamonds".

But the section on sister companies was removed a few days after Global Witness wrote to Mhlanga asking about the relationship between Liparm and Transfrontier.

Zimbabwe's finance minister in Zimbabwe's coalition government, MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti, has expressed concern that most revenue generated from Marange's vast diamond wealth is not finding its way back to the country's fiscus. NGOs allege that it could be used to fund a parallel government, including top figures in the military.

Biti was forced to slash the country's budget by 15% this week. In Parliament he complained bitterly that revenue of just $46.1-million had been received from Marange in the first half of 2012 – in contrast with the $600-million revenue previously projected for the current financial year.

Diamonds sourced from Marange were cleared for trade by the Kimberley Protocol in 2010, despite concerns over a lack of transparency and accountability by the companies that dominate the trade. – Owen Gagare & Lionel Faull
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Definitely dodge! Blood diamonds are funding all these acquisitions.
Monday Jul 23, 2012

Rates alarm over controversial Ballito property

The KwaDukuza Municipality has sounded alarm bells about the future of the R100-million Ballito property development by Robert Mugabe's former pilot.

Hundreds of thousands of rand in municipal rates is owed on the property.

This emerged in papers filed in the Durban High Court in response to a counter-application launched by the property owner, Straightprops 92 and Formate Pty Ltd. Straightprops was responding to an application by the municipality to force it to submit building plans for approval, to stop work and to prevent occupation.

It has now emerged that the municipality obtained a default judgment of R602 225.22 against Straightprops in May.

The company has since been acquired by SalesTalk 403 Pty Ltd. Zimbabwean diamond mining magnate Robert Mhlanga is the sole director. He is also the sole director of Formate Pty Ltd and chairman of Mbada Diamonds in Zimbabwe.

A Mail and Guardian report yesterday claimed that a deeds search had revealed that Mhlanga, using various shelf companies, had bought four other properties over the past 18 months at inflated prices. These included two R29m mansions in Hyde Park, Sandton; a R25m house in Umhlanga Rocks and a R31m apartment in the Oysters, in Umhlanga.

In court papers, Kwadukuza Municipality building control officer Njabulo Ngwane, said of the Ballito property: "A private residence of the size and nature proposed cannot be accommodated by the existing zoning or property boundaries.

"Kwadukuza Municipality is extremely concerned that what is being constructed will prove too costly to maintain in the long term and become unmarketable and redundant.

"The first respondent (Straightprops 92) is already in arrears with payment of rates and judgment has been taken against it," Ngwane said.

The municipality also outlined its reasons for rejecting the property plans. It alleged that the development had been undertaken in a "secretive manner"; that the municipality had not been advised about it; and the developer's attitude was "puzzling and completely different from that which the applicant is used to when dealing with the professionals and contractors which the respondents have employed".

He said the developer had not been forthcoming with detailed plans or information.

"The applicant has been denied access to working plans, drawings and other documents which will give details of what is being built," Ngwane said.

However, Mhlanga's attorney Lazelle Paola said yesterday that her client questioned the circumstances under which the default judgment had been granted and was unaware of it until he had seen the responding papers. She said her client would apply for rescission of the judgment.

"Our client's dispute the validity of many of the items and many others are minor and not unusual in the context of a building plan application. All items are being addressed and the plans will be resubmitted," Paola said.

"Our client's dispute that the development has been undertaken in a secretive manner.

"The order did not prohibit access, and construction was not halted by the court. Only occupation of the new structures is prohibited until the issue of certificates of occupancy," Paola said.

"All of the relevant matters raised in the council's latest affidavits will be addressed and it is not appropriate to respond at this stage," Paola said.

Asked to confirm or deny the report of four additional properties, Paola said, "it does not pertain to the litigation we are involved in and we hold no instructions therewith."

She stated Mhlanga was not associated with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

"Dr Mhlanga denies having any business or other relationship with President Mugabe save that Dr Mhlanga is a Zimbabwean and Mugabe the head of state in Zimbabwe'".

KwaDukuza Municipality was earlier granted an interim order by consent in which the developer agreed not to occupy any of the new structures on the properties, to submit building plans, to allow access to building inspectors and to demolish any further work done on the properties should plans not be approved.

The property comprises an existing upmarket dwelling, two new man-made dams, a new gazebo structure which functions as an entertainment area, a new guard house and a new changeroom.

Mhlanga had contended that the municipality had obstructed efforts to lodge plans on several occasions, but the municipality denied this.

Several attempts to contact Mhlanga through his local company in Joburg, Liparm, were unsuccessful yesterday

The Independent on Saturday

Posted at 07:45AM Jul 23, 2012 by Editor in Cities and Towns
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Mugabe pal must stop building SA mansion

Durban - A South African court has stopped a close friend of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe from continuing construction on a R200m house in the upmarket beach resort of Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal.

Robert Mhlanga apparently did not have his building plans approved prior to beginning construction, reported the TimesLive.

The action in court against him was brought by the KwaDukuza municipality.

Businessman Mhlanga said he had not intended breaking the law and had been held up by the municipality, which had prevented his architects from submitting the plans.

Source: News24
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If he had not intended breaking the law, then why did he start building before his plans were approved?

And why does he just get told to stop building when us normal plebs would be told to pull the stuff down....
Disagree TB. What he has done 1000s of people do everyday due to inefficiencies in all municipalities across SA. This one went to court due to the high profile nature. But 1000s of others do this because the time municipalities are taking is leaving people with massive costs. I am not condoning it, nor saying everyone proceeding without final plans are doing it with genuine reasons, but it is a problem.
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