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By Lunga Simelane

Journalist


Zuma vs VBS: This is how JZ can avoid losing it all

VBS liquidator confirmed the bank received a default judgment against Zuma, following his failure to keep up with monthly repayments of R70 000.


While former president Jacob Zuma may be saved from losing his Nkandla homestead, he may, however, lose his other moveable assets in order to repay a whopping loan of R6.5 million. The default judgment was issued by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg two days ago. The former president, who took out a loan with the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank, was ordered and required to pay back the multimillion-rand loan, which was used for massive security upgrades at Nkandla. VBS liquidator Louise Brugman’s spokesperson, Anoosh Rooplal, confirmed the bank received a default judgment against Zuma, following his failure to…

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While former president Jacob Zuma may be saved from losing his Nkandla homestead, he may, however, lose his other moveable assets in order to repay a whopping loan of R6.5 million.

The default judgment was issued by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg two days ago.

The former president, who took out a loan with the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank, was ordered and required to pay back the multimillion-rand loan, which was used for massive security upgrades at Nkandla.

VBS liquidator Louise Brugman’s spokesperson, Anoosh Rooplal, confirmed the bank received a default judgment against Zuma, following his failure to keep up with monthly repayments of R70 000.

It was understood the bank wanted an execution order which would allow it to recoup the money owed by possibly selling his property, but the land on which Nkandla was built could not be attached because it was owned by the Ingonyama Trust.

However, the order made provision for the attachment and sale of cows, furniture and other assets.

Legal expert advocate Mannie Witz said it was quite a serious thing to have a judgment against you where people were trying to attach assets and execution orders.

Witz said VBS Mutual Bank went into curatorship and was liquidating, trying to recover whatever it could for the benefit of the general body of creditors and the judgment could only be satisfied by embarking on an attachment.

“When it comes to the liquidation, attachments and execution, the normal procedure in law was that they looked to see what could be recovered,” he said.

According to Witz, the processes of attachment and execution would take place if assets were owned by the person.

“The deputy sheriff can attach whatever they can, in order to reduce the liability and debt. As long as whatever they attach is owned by that person,” he said.

“It needs to be properly served by a deputy sheriff on the person and brought to their knowledge and if they did not defend it, there would now be a judgment.”

“If it is specifically against a person, they then can sequestrate the person but there might be a legal defence.”

Witz said the attached assets would be acknowledged, placed on a public auction and used to recover assets.

The seizing of assets would involve either motor vehicles or bank accounts.

“Only after you attach and there is still no satisfaction of the debt, can you execute on the court order by way of a public action, such as advertisements,” he said.

“This would involve like placing it in the Government Gazette supporting that you have a judgment against this person and only after the attachment if they have not defended or applied to set it aside.”

With Zuma suspected of having assets and property outside South Africa, Witz said assets could be seized anywhere outside the country, but they would not use the local deputy sheriff to handle the cases.

He said only lawyers from that country would be used and they would follow their procedures.

“What is normally done is, a reciprocal court order is requested from another country recognising the South African judgment. Some countries don’t but some do, but when granted, one can attach in that specific country.”

Witz noted that in overall attachments, they could not take more than what the judgment was.

“You cannot prefer one creditor opposed to another, if you are declared insolvent. You cannot go and attach overseas if another party owns those assets. You can only attach what is clean, with nobody else owning it.”

As the Jacob Zuma Foundation planned to consult its legal team and study the judgment, Witz said the former president could argue he was not notified and could apply to have the judgment rescinded.

– lungas@citizen.co.za

ALSO READ: VBS Mutual Bank gets attachment order for Zuma’s assets at Nkandla

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