Civil suits

Pro-Israel lobbyist Mayekiso could be homeless by end of the month

Lubabalo Mayekiso's own mother wanted to sequestrate him

13 August 2017 - 02:13 By PHILANI NOMBEMBE

An ardent Israel sympathiser has discovered that a life of luxury is not quite the promised land if it is funded by huge debt.
Lubabalo Mayekiso's expensive lifestyle, and a long list of people to whom he owes millions, have been exposed by a series of lawsuits in the High Court in Cape Town.
The South African director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which "educates Christians all over the world about Israel's unique calling, political situation and social challenges", could be homeless by the end of the month.
Creditors have forced the auction of his luxury home in the upmarket Cape Town suburb of Constantia, bought for R19.95-million in cash in 2007 by Mayekiso, 49, and his wife, Ncediwe, 46. In court papers, Mayekiso describes himself as an entrepreneur.The Jewish community holds the couple in high regard. The South Africa Jewish Report reported in 2013 that "well-known Cape Israel lobbyist couple Luba and Ncedi Mayekiso have signed up 600,000 followers of their new Africa for Israel Christian Coalition ... thousands more are joining weekly".
In January, Mayekiso wrote a critical article slating the ANC for its approach to the Middle East, saying it was "part of an unrelenting crusade to demonise Israel".
Four years ago, after Mayekiso failed to service an R800,000 loan, creditors Thomas Priday and Paul Heinamann obtained a summary judgment against him. They then brought a sequestration order against the Mayekisos. Creditors reached an agreement with the couple, which was made an order of court, in which they undertook to obtain a bank loan against the house to settle debts.
When this did not happen, the house was attached, but Mayekiso's mother, Tembeka, brought an urgent application to sequestrate the couple. She said they owed her R55,000 and had told her they "were involved in various projects and undertook to repay the loans in full by the end of September 2013" but "reneged on their many promises".
The lawsuit exposed the couple's other debts. At the time, they owed their children's private school, credit card issuers, clothing stores, banks and the City of Cape Town, among others, more than R10.5-million.
Tembeka proposed that the home be sold by a trustee to realise a "more realistic price", but did not follow up on the application. Priday and Heinamann pursued it and the couple were sequestrated in 2014.The home goes under the hammer on August 29. In court papers, lawyer Schalk Marais, representing the trustees of the insolvent estate, said auctioneers had clients interested in the property but worried about the Mayekisos' refusal to move out.
"The insolvents were extremely unco-operative and unwilling to allow auctioneers and prospective purchasers access to the Constantia property before the scheduled auction date and have failed utterly to maintain the Constantia property, allowing it to become dilapidated," court papers said.
The high court granted an order to evict the couple last year. But the Supreme Court of Appeal recently granted leave to appeal.
Marais said this would not stop the auction. He said Mayekisos' lawsuits were designed to "frustrate the process. In the meantime, some of the creditors' claims have reached the in duplum rule, which means they cannot claim more interest," he said. The rule stops interest accruing further once it equals the amount of capital outstanding.
Mayekiso referred questions to his lawyer, Leon van Rensburg, who questioned the public interest in the matter. "Mr Mayekiso is a public figure? I didn't know that," said Van Rensburg. Mayekiso undertook to provide his side of the story but failed to do so...

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