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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

WHAT TRIAL?

Millionaire ex-policeman Sbu Mpisane and his wife Shauwn ushered in the new year in “heavenly” style at a party in Mauritius yesterday.

The couple made their fortune building low-cost houses.

Mpisane and his party of 20 flew to the exotic tropical island by chartered private jet from Durban’s Virginia Airport yesterday to party up a storm at the exclusive R16 000-a-night Four Seasons hotel in Anahita, where they were also staying.

Guests, who were entertained by top South African DJs Happygirl Ndlovu and Muntu “Master Blaster” Khoza, were said to include Generations actors and close friends and family.

The hotel is promoted on its website as being “on the island said to have inspired heaven”.

An online welcoming brochure promises guests an unparalleled experience of being “cocooned by a private sanctuary, embracing boundless views of blue waters and green-blanketed mountains”.

The website also says visitors can “thrill to the oceanfront finish on the Ernie Els golf course”, splash “on serene lagoon beaches” and “instil tranquillity with regionally inspired treatments in an over-water spa . . . (and) fill every moment with a sense of natural connection and exquisite retreat.”

The former Metro police constable, who says he hasn’t flown by commercial airline in five years, said he was “not at liberty” to divulge the costs of the trip.

He said that while he expected criticism for spending money on the trip, he was not willing to compromise on having a good time after “working hard”.

“Why should I? Prince William had a lavish wedding right in the middle of a recession. No one said a thing.

“People say there is a recession. I agree, but if you go to an informal settlement, you’ll find people celebrating with a bottle of Smirnoff and braaing ithumbu (cow’s intestines). That is their level.

“After working hard 365 days a year, I can’t be expected to buy a bottle of Smirnoff. I’m on a different level.”

Last June, the Mpisanes’ La Lucia mansion and Shauwn Mpisane’s Umhlanga offices were raided by the Hawks. Shauwn’s company, Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport CC, faces 173 charges of fraud and forgery involving R4.7 million. A trial has been set down for the new year.

Shauwn, who is out on R50 000 bail for alleged fraud and forgery, faces a separate charge for running her close corporation despite being disqualified from doing so by a 2005 conviction for tax fraud.

In 2009, it was reported the couple received R219m from the eThekwini Municipality to build low-income houses on 4 500 sites in Umlazi. However, the National Home Builders’ Registration Council found defects in more than 1 000 of 3 000 houses built by Zikhulise.

Of the defects, 30 percent were serious and required major renovations. – Agiza Hlongwane

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WHAT TRIAL?

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