Sheriff swoops on PE millionaire

FLAMBOYANT Port Elizabeth businessman Ben Nyaumwe is “hopelessly insolvent”, owes Absa bank R101-million and allegedly locked up his luxury Brookes Hill house to prevent the Sheriff of the High Court from seizing his furniture, the bank claimed in legal papers this week.

But the beleaguered developer of the iconic luxury Radisson Blu building in Summerstrand is not going down without a fight, and has instructed his lawyers to oppose the application.

“It won’t be successful. It’s just something the bank had to do because I signed surety on the original loan for the development of the Radisson.

“I have done a hell of a lot for Port Elizabeth.

“I have children and people I have to look after. If this story comes out it will do irreparable damage to me.”

Nyaumwe, whose glitzy 40th birthday was featured on SABC3’s Top Billing in 2011, said: “It is two years now that I have been out of the Radisson deal and now I get drawn back into the fight Auspex is having with Absa,” an upset Nyaumwe said.

“How did I get caught up in this thing? Stories like this don’t make it easy. I am a talented businessman and you make it difficult for me to do business,” he said.

The order for Nyaumwe’s provisional sequestration was obtained by Absa earlier this month.

But the Port Elizabeth High Court this week postponed an application for his final sequestration to August 15.

Last month Absa also obtained summary judgment for the R101-million against him. Nyaumwe opposed the application but the judge ruled against him and ordered that he also pay a punitive cost.

“He is hopelessly insolvent despite his indication [that he has about R5 million in assets.]” Absa’s manager of credit restructuring, Lodewicus de Jager said in papers before court this week.

De Jager said that following their successful application for summary judgment, the bank had sent the sheriff to Nyaumwe’s house to attach his assets.

The sheriff found only about R24 000 worth of furniture and home appliances.

“The sheriff was unable to find the assets Nyaumwe specified,” De Jager said in papers before court.

“A very real possibility exists that Nyaumwe has disposed of some or all of these assets,” he said.

The assets listed by Nyaumwe included a BMW X6 worth R784 540, a Chrysler Grand Voyager worth R620 000 and a house worth R3-million. The sheriff could

This is a version of an article that appeared in the print edition of the Weekend Post on Saturday, May 25, 2013.

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