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Sold or not sold?

Sentinel sold for 'about R10m' in closed bidding

By Melanie Gosling

HOUT Bay's Sentinel, one of the Cape Peninsula's best-known landmarks, has been sold.

Yesterday, the auctioneers confirmed that the mountain had been sold through a closed bidding process, but declined to say who the new owners were until they had ironed out the terms and conditions attached to the sale.

Leno de Villiers, chief executive of the Julius Buchinsky Group of auctioneers, said the names of the new owners would be announced later this week.

"It's been sold, but we're still finalising the terms and conditions ... They wanted things like (SANParks) to be sorted out because there was talk of expropriation of the land. But there has been no expropriation registered at any of the government ministries.

"If (SANParks) want to expropriate, they have to go through a process and register it, and their offer has to be based on fair market value.

"There were certain big names among the bids, but we have to respect client confidentiality until everything has been finalised."

The mountain peak was sold for "around R10 million". This was lower than expected, as the former owners, a close corporation called G&R Services, had reportedly turned down an earlier offer of R15m. They had paid R60 000 for the Sentinel in 2003.

De Villiers blamed the lower offers on the fact that they had not been able to hold a public auction.

Last month's public auction was abandoned after Hangberg residents, fiercely opposed to the sale of the land, held a public protest outside the Chapman's Peak Hotel where the auction was taking place.

The auction was abandoned after confrontations between the protesters and police, who used rubber bullets to disperse the protesters. The auctioneers then held a closedbid process.

Of the 14 bids received, the highest was R10.5m. When told of the sale, residents of Hangberg village at the foot of the Sentinel reacted with anger yesterday.

They said they would prevent the new owners from
building anything on the mountain by blocking construction vehicles from entering the land.

Isaac James, chairman of the Hout Bay Civic Association,
said yesterday: “They can sell it, but they won’t be able to build anything there. That’s our heritage. Our community won’t allow any trucks with building material to go there.

“The ground belongs to the people. Our people are also
struggling for land to build houses. Why does the government not buy a small piece for houses for us and leave the rest of the mountain alone?

“We will push the government to buy that land and we
will make sure there is no building on that mountain.”
Brett Myrdal, head of Table Mountain National Park, who
wanted the Sentinel incorporated into the park, does not
believe the sale has gone through.

“I think the auctioneers are flying a kite. We don’t believe
they have confirmed the sale.” Myrdal said the expropriation of the Sentinel had been approved by one government ministry, Water and Environment Affairs, and approval by the Department of Human Settlements
was pending.

“Once they have approved it, a market value has to be
determined. It would have to be shown that whoever made the R10.5m bid had the means to pay that amount,” Myrdal said.

He said if the Sentinel had been sold for R10.5m, this price would put it out of the reach of the park. The park had offered R500 000, which had been rejected.

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Published on the web by Cape Times on August 4, 2009.

4,124 Posts
Bid to block mountain sale
2009-08-05 22:18

Johannesburg - A bid is being made to block development of the Sentinel Mountain in Hout Bay which is controversially up for sale, Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) said on Wednesday.

"The property is entirely inappropriate for any form of development," said the organisation's planning manager Mike Slayen in a statement.

"SANParks is in the final steps of buying the lower section of the controversial Sentinel Mountain.

"If the sale goes ahead it will leave the 'top' section of the mountain - for which a conditional offer of R10m has allegedly been presented -'landlocked'."

Slayen said the purchase of the lower property would them be incorporated into the national park, and road access across this land would be "vigorously opposed".

Two properties

The Sentinel consists of two properties, an upper one of 10 hectares and a lower one of six, neither of which have any residential properties on them.

Slayen said the lower property was being acquired by SANParks for R800 000 for "conservation purposes" and would be managed as part of the TMNP.

Once the sale went through, the upper property would then be encircled by the Atlantic Ocean and TMNP-owned land.

"SANParks is opposed to any development of the lower or upper Sentinel properties due to their visual and ecological sensitivity and heritage importance as an iconic landscape of the Cape Peninsula," he said.

In 2003 the upper land was apparently brought by G&R Marine Services for R60 000. According to a 2006 municipal valuation it was worth R120 000.

Oprah, Kerzner considering buy

This week an unknown bidder apparently put in an offer of R10m for the upper property, subject to conditions that had not been made public.

"SANParks has consistently offered to buy this property for R500 000, based on professional property valuations."

Last month, an auction of the mountain peak was cancelled after a protest.

A recent report in the Sunday Times said the 321m-high Cape Town landmark in Hout Bay had come to the attention of celebrities and tycoons including talk show host Oprah Winfrey, hotel magnate Sol Kerzner, Donald Trump jnr as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The new owners could, if they wished, be able to name the peak after themselves as the Sentinel was not a registered trademark.

Auctioneers had reportedly turned down two offers, including one for R15m.

South Straddie QLD
10,893 Posts
clever turn down a 15mil offer and then sell for 10mil.

Mo Im a bit confused as to exactly what is being sold, why buy a mountain if you cant build anything?

Could you show on a plan what is for sale and what is not? What about those fishermen houses and shacks, best location in the cape me thinks

East Coast Massiv
16,652 Posts
R60 000 turned into R10 mill in 6 years not bad.....not bad at all, but ya just like Giles Im confused what has been sold? the entire moutain or just that one "peak"? & what can or cannot be done there? I see the community want to block any construction vehicles going to the site but what right do they have, this person/ consortium owns the land and can do what ever the hell he likes.

South Straddie QLD
10,893 Posts
I think the fisherman houses /slums are not part of this and its the back (sea facing side) thats sold , I think. farking steep to do anything with and why was this not part of public land?
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