SA business magnate Mzi Khumalo's Zimbabwe empire teetering on the edge

14 April 2019 - 00:01 By DAMIAN McKENZIE

South African business magnate Mzi Khumalo's mining empire in Zimbabwe is on the brink of collapse and the 64-year-old is said to be looking for a way out.
A debt schedule seen by the Sunday Times this week shows Metallon Corp, which Khumalo founded and chairs, is indebted to the tune of $200m.
The company also faces a court case in which it is alleged to have unlawfully sent more than $30m to the UK, claiming it was for the payment of dividends and management fees.
The Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe, the largest mining union, approached the high court in Harare this week seeking an order that Metallon's two mines in Shamva and Mazowe be put under business rescue.
The union says about 1,400 workers at the mines are owed $40m in salaries, benefits and unremitted pensions.
Trouble has been brewing at Metallon for months as creditors have lined up with court orders allowing them to auction off company assets to settle debts.
Most recently, Metallon lost a plant at Mazowe which was completed in 2017 at a cost of $18m. It was auctioned for about $1.8m, significantly less than what the company borrowed from banks to build it.
Company bosses said they feared the banks might now seek early settlement of the loans.
One executive, who did not want to be named, said: "Our funders, such as BancABC and CABS, may want to bring forward payment dates for their facilities before any ruling is made on the corporate rescue application."
The debt schedule shows Metallon owes:

RTGS$20m to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority;
$5.6m to mining services group Afmine;
$3m to mining services company Fraser Alexander; and
$700,000 to a car service company...

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