At least R25-million has disappeared from Afro-pop queen Brenda Fassie’s deceased estate.
Some of the popular singer’s publishing rights were sold by one of the executors of the estate, known to Sunday World, for a measly R1-million, which disappeared from the estate.
The shocking claims were made by the songbird’s son Bongani Fassie, who has since launched an investigation into the larger-than-life muso’s missing millions.
Speaking to Sunday World on Thursday, Fassie said the estate of Brenda, who died after collapsing at her home in Buccleuch in Joburg on May 9, 2004, was wound up in 2017.
He said in terms of the estate, Brenda’s husband Nhlanhla Mbambo was supposed to be a beneficiary as they had entered a civil marriage.
After a thorough investigation, he said, he established that the revered chanteuse was not legally married to him.
“This automatically meant that as the only son of Brenda, I become the beneficiary of her estate,” he said.
Bongani said there was about R25-million in the estate’s distribution account that he was supposed to have inherited, but the funds are depleted.
“As a result, I met with my lawyers and we are now launching full investigations into what happened to the missing millions,” he said.
Bongani has fingered a well-known businessman and copy-right specialist, known to Sunday World, as the possible suspect who looted and depleted Brenda’s estate to enrich himself. “The lawyers are studying the details of the estate and will advise on the legal route we are going to take.”
Bongani also said he decided to investigate and recover Brenda’s missing millions ahead of her 20th anniversary next year.
“As part of preserving and growing her legacy, we have lined up several Brenda Fassie projects, but we felt we should first honour her by making sure she gets the justice she deserves by holding those who stole her money accountable for their actions,” she said.
He also said one of the executors of the estate had sold the late singer’s publishing rights for a paltry R1-million.
“Publishing means the royalties of the songs she wrote or composed are not coming to her estate to benefit me as the person who inherited her estate but to those who bought this publishing. The question is who bought these publishing rights and what happened to the money?” he asked.
He said he had seen a legion of Brenda’s fans wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the juggernaut’s face and wondered who sold these image rights to the designers.
“Honestly, the questions is who owns these rights because they are supposed to be part of her estate of which I’m the sole beneficiary?” he said.