High court grabs playboy's multimillion-rand Clifton home
Businessman succeeds in getting house attached in R75m suit
Equatorial Guinea's playboy vice-president, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, has had his multimillion-rand Clifton beach cottage attached in preparation for a civil claim.
But the Cape Town High Court has refused to attach a second mansion, which is also targeted by Daniel Janse van Rensburg, who is preparing to sue Obiang for R75-million for unlawful imprisonment.
Van Rensburg was held for 423 days in Black Beach prison in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, after an aviation deal with one of Obiang's family members turned sour.
He said he was tortured, humiliated and also contracted typhoid, malaria and hepatitis, which nearly caused his death.
Janse van Rensburg languished in jail while Obiang, son of President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, enjoyed a lavish lifestyle with yachts and luxury cars - including four bought in South Africa.
He bought the Clifton property, which overlooks Fourth Beach, for R23.5-million in 2013 and spent another R26-million on a house in Bishopscourt, according to court papers.
Both were the subject of a provisional attachment order.
Obiang brandished his diplomatic immunity in a bid to have the lawsuit quashed, and denied any involvement in Janse van Rensburg's arrest.
He swore a statement saying he had spent millions of rands upgrading his Cape Town properties, but they had stood empty since he bought them in 2013.
"Since I have purchased these two properties, I have not once occupied or spent one night staying over," he said.
"Both properties are empty and unfurnished. If and when I travel to South Africa I do not stay in any of the two properties."
Judge Vincent Saldanha dismissed Obiang's arguments this week, but said it was not necessary to attach both houses.
He noted that Obiang had been involved in similar attachment proceedings, including in France, where he owned a large mansion, and in the US, where his Malibu mansion reportedly sold for close to R500-million.
"He surrendered his US property in settlement of an asset forfeiture case brought by the US department of justice against him and which also involved his collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia," the judgment said.
Contacted to confirm the attachment order, Janse van Rensburg said: "Yes, praise God."