Bank says prince pays like a pauper
A ZULU prince who wants to be king is fighting to hang on to his "royal palace" and fleet of luxury cars.
Nedbank has filed papers in the High Court in Durban to auction off Prince Melizwe Dlamini's R3.4-million La Lucia palace after he failed to keep up with his R29940 monthly bond repayments. His arrears amount to R398522 since 2010.
Dlamini is currently challenging King Goodwill Zwelithini for a portion of his kingdom.
The bank is also trying to seize the prince's fleet of luxury cars which include a Range Rover, an Audi and a Grand Jeep Cherokee.
But on Thursday Dlamini denied his home had been repossessed or that his car payments were outstanding. "I'm not aware of that. It's misinformation," he said.
However, Ian Wyles Auctioneers confirmed that the property had been advertised to go on auction on June 4.
Deeds records show that the four-bedroom property in one of Durban's most sought-after suburbs was bought for R3.4-million in 2006. The 1462m² home features a grand entrance hall, gilded pillars and a swimming pool.
In an affidavit filed in court Nedbank's legal manager Sijabulile Ntshangase said she had met Dlamini several times to discuss his arrears and the whereabouts of the cars. She said the bank had hired a private investigator to assist in locating them.
Her affidavit said Dlamini "has refused to comply with a court order for the return of the vehicles". She added that during a settlement discussion with Dlamini, he offered to cede the proceeds from his sugar cane farm in Ixopo.
In an interview with the Sunday Times in 2009, it was reported that he had armed bodyguards and a fleet that included two Range Rovers, two Jeep Cherokees and a Mercedes-Benz SLK.
He also owns a mansion in a tightly guarded compound in Nhlangwini, south of Durban, and a fishing boat named after his grandmother Princess Khesi KaDinizulu.
He is among three KwaZulu-Natal traditional leaders waiting for the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims to make recommendations to President Jacob Zuma on whether to grant them kingship status.
Dlamini claims his kingdom of about three million subjects stretches from the Tugela River in the north to the Buffalo and Umzimvubu rivers in the Eastern Cape.
The father of six wants King Goodwill to relinquish control over his tribe, the amaMbo.
The king receives an allowance of R80000 a month from the government in addition to more than R60-million a year for his royal household.