Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba reportedly has less than two weeks to prepare for a court battle in an attempt to halt the possible liquidation of Cedar Park Properties 39, which leases the Sandton train station to Gautrain.
The land in Sandton was allegedly “gifted” to Cedar Park in a deal now facing questions.
Mashaba wants the sale reversed because the property company allegedly failed to pay for it. The city allegedly issued a bond against itself in a deal made 10 years ago to finance the sale of the R280 million property to the private company.
Mashaba in a Sowetan report said he was working against the clock to interdict the sale and cancel the bond. This was to take back the land, which should belong to the people of Johannesburg, he said.
Mashaba said: “We cannot allow our land to be stolen by criminal syndicates working with senior government officials.”
The deal was for the property to house the Gautrain station, including property development worth R4 billion, but due to the lack of development, Vintage Capital, a company that invested R150 million in the development in 2013, has since filed to liquidate Cedar Park in a bid to cut its losses and retrieve some of the money.
Council officials reportedly claim the liquidation means the city could lose prime land and millions in in property rates.
“Ultimately, if the liquidation or business rescue is successful, it will become a lot more difficult for the city to reverse that sale because, after liquidation, the land will become what the creditor wants,” a council official said.
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)