Cape Town – Assets in the upmarket Cape Town suburb of Bishopscourt, belonging to the vice president of Equatorial Guinea – who is the centre of a court case in Paris for allegedly embezzling and splurging public funds – are to be auctioned off.
This is because Teodorin Nguema Obiang, son of Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, has lost an aspect of a legal wrangle involving Daniel Janse van Rensburg – a South African who was jailed in the notorious Black Beach prison in Equatorial Guinea for about two years.
He was released in September 2015, after being imprisoned when an aviation contract with former Malabo mayor Gabriel Mba Bela Angabi went awry.
R75m claim for wrongful detention
Janse van Rensburg, of the Southern Cape town of George, had launched a R75m claim against Obiang for wrongful detention.
The George Herald previously reported that Obiang had headed defence and security during Janse van Rensburg’s detention in the country, and was in charge of the armed forces, police, prisons and detention facilities in Equatorial Guinea.
Obiang, who has a Cape Town property in Bishopscourt and another in the posh seaside suburb of Clifton, tried to quash Janse van Rensburg’s application, but was unsuccessful, and had to pay the costs for this.
However, Errol Elsdon of Sterling Rand, a legal advisor assisting Janse van Rensburg, on Monday told News24 that Obiang had not paid the costs. Assets of his were, therefore, to be seized and auctioned off to cover this.
A warrant of execution of moveable property, seen by News24 and stamped with the date September 1, shows that the Western Cape High Court had directed the deputy sheriff of Cape Town to attach assets.
The matter involves a debt of R178 442.62.
Obiang, based on the warrant, is being held responsible for it.
Auction of assets
The warrant of execution to the sheriff says: “You are hereby directed to attach and take into execution the movable property of First Respondent (Obiang)… and of same cause to be realised by public auction the sum R178 442.62.”
According to the City of Cape Town’s valuations roll, it lists the address mentioned on the warrant as the location of a property owned by a “Teodoro Nguema Obiang”.
As of August 2015, the property was valued at R34 050 000.
Bishopscourt is an exclusive area – billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe has reportedly owned property there.
‘Embezzlement’ and millions of dollars
Late in June, CNN reported that Obiang was on trial in France for spending tens of millions of dollars, he allegedly stole from his country, on things including a private jet and a fleet of luxury cars.
It reported that he faced charges of embezzling public funds, and money laundering.
According to various media reports, the prosecution wanted Obiang to be sentenced to three years in jail.