Crous has debts of R4.5m, say firms

Estelle Ellis  

CONTROVERSIAL Port Elizabeth businessman Theunis Crous’s company, Ho Hup Corporation, was provisionally liquidated by the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday amid claims of a vast overstatement of his assets. There were also claims of aborted settlement attempts to get his creditors to go away.

Crous owes several Port Elizabeth businesses a total of R4.5million, they say.

When arguing about creditors’ battle to get Ho Hup to pay up, attorney Quiryn Spruyt said when Crous was confronted about his debts he resorted to “fictitious disputes of fact and implausible, far-fetched and clearly untenable” excuses.

Backed into a corner by persistent legal action and the cancellation by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality of his contract for the Thusong Service Centre in Motherwell, Crous withdrew his opposition to the provisional liquidation application at the 11th hour.

Crous’s company was ordered off the site by a formal notice from the municipality last week.

According to the notice all losses suffered due to the cancellation of the contract will be recovered from Ho Hup.

The notice stated that Ho Hup’s contract was being terminated as the company had refused to comply with instructions and failed to complete the project.

The application for provisional liquidation was brought by Coastal Refrigeration. They had been owed R1.2-million by Ho Hup. Ho Hup agreed to pay the money in instalments but later defaulted on the agreement with R402 279 still unpaid.

Creditors that joined Coastal Refrigeration’s legal bid were Zikhona Bricks, which is owed R127814; Dassenberg Retaining System (owed R113 101); Syfyaans Tiles and Sanitary Ware (owed R1.2-million); Scribante Concrete (owed R189 000); Edison Performance Electrical (owed R392509) and Multi-Projects (owed R2.5–million).

Crous claimed in legal papers that Ho Hup had cash and cash equivalents worth R90-million.

But according to papers before court Crous had included in his calculation assets seized by the Madagascan government and other Madagascan creditors.

Papers further stated Crous had closed his Port Elizabeth offices without telling staff.

According to bank records, Ho Hup has an overdraft of R300 000 and all of its debit orders are returned unpaid.

An application for Ho Hup’s final liquidation will be heard on July 19.

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