Guptas’ Saxonwold ‘shebeen’ set to be logged

Bank hoping to recover arrears

Another multimillion-rand Gupta-owned ‘shebeen’ in Saxonwold will soon go under the hammer if the bank has its way. Sunday World can exclusively reveal that FNB has applied for a court judgment and an order to attach and sell the R9-million house owned by Rajesh Gupta and Ashu Chawla.

Although the house was purchased by Rajesh and Ashu, their wives Arti Gupta and Harsh Chawla were also cited as respondents in the application because they were married to the two discredited businessmen in community of property.

This house, made popular by former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe as the infamous “Saxonwold shebeen”, is a palace where the main actors in the state capture drama met and sealed many deals and people’s fate, according to testimony at the State of Capture Commission
of Inquiry.

The orders were applied for in the Joburg High Court on Friday, November 29, by FNB lawyers Glover Kannieappan Incorporated, after the couples failed to keep up with their monthly instalments.

According to the court papers in our possession, Rajesh and Ashu borrowed over R3.6-million from the bank to purchase the property in the
leafy suburb of Joburg north on December 1 2010.

But the principal loan ballooned to over R4.5-million after they borrowed an additional R700 000 from the bank. The couples were expected to pay over R34 000 in monthly instalments for 240 months but they defaulted and were in arrears of over R106 000.

The lawyers stated that the couples ignored 18 SMSes or e-mails sent to them from July 9 to October 28 in which they implored them to settle the arrears.

They also said the couples have vacated the property and though Rajesh, Arti and Harsh couldn’t be located by the tracers, Ashu was found.

Ashu, the papers said, indicated in one of the SMSes he sent to the bank’s pre-legal agents that he was unemployed and therefore could no longer afford to service the bond, leaving the bank lawyers with no option but to go to court.

The lawyers pleaded with the court to grant them orders to attach and auction off the property before it could lose its value as it stood vacant and unguarded.

They further begged the court not to set a reserve price as that would scare off potential buyers or discourage them from attending the auction.

Trevor Dawson of Glover Kannieappan Incorporated referred us to his colleague Bianca Bezuidenhout who couldn’t be reached for comment at the time of going to print.

This would be the Guptas’ second property to go under the hammer.

Last month, their house, which they bought for R3-million seven years ago, was auctioned off for R2.6-million after their company, Con¡dent Concepts was placed under business rescue.

By Ngwako Malatji

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