Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
15 Mar 2017
6:11 am

Ex-Abashiri racehorse owner’s business liquidated

Ilse de Lange

The Misty Weddings and Equestrian venue was liquidated over the inability to meet financial obligations.

CONFIDENT. Rika and Adriaan van Vuuren pose with Abashiri at the Northrand Training Centre in Midrand, ahead of Champions Day at Turffontein Racecourse today. Abashiri is looking to win the third leg of the Triple Crown after winning the first two. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The wedding and equestrian venue of former top racehorse owner Adriaan van Vuuren and his wife Rika has been liquidated because they could not afford to pay their staff and feed over 20 horses.

The Misty Weddings and Equestrian venue, near Cullinan, was initially placed under business rescue, but the business rescue practitioners on Tuesday obtained an urgent order in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to liquidate the business, which they said was in severe and dire financial straits.

Van Vuuren’s former employer, Telkom subsidiary Trudon, earlier this month obtained provisional sequestration orders against the couple, who were once celebrated as the owners of equine superstar Abashiri, alleging Van Vuuren had defrauded the company of over R500 million while he was their IT manager.

The company also obtained orders freezing their bank accounts, various business entities and family trusts and interdicting them from dealing with their vast assets, including 17 properties, racehorses, luxury vehicles and businesses.

Rika van Vuuren earlier said in court papers she was in the process of divorcing her husband after years of emotional and physical abuse, was never party to his alleged fraud and believed he had fled the country.

Business rescue practitioner Grant Chittenden said in court papers the venue was currently not trading, its doors have been closed since March 6 and there was no funding to pay staff to care for the over 20 rescue horses on the property.

He said employees of other businesses belonging to Van Vuuren had looted the liquidated business premises, causing damage and stealing stock and other items, because they had not been paid in full.

Security was increased at the wedding venue, but the escalating costs could not be maintained.

The business also had no access to funds in its bank account due to the freezing order, which impacted all related businesses in the group.

He said it was clear that the business could no longer be rescued.

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