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Zar taken to court over unpaid rent

Cape Town -

An upmarket Green Point hotel has taken the Zar Lounge, owned by Kenny Kunene associate Gayton McKenzie, to court for outstanding rent of more than R450 000.

The Cape Royale Hotel is taking Gayton McKenzie from Zar to court for not paying the club's rent Picture: Jason Boud. Credit: CAPE ARGUS

Cape Royale director Paschal Phelan has brought a liquidation application against Gayton McKenzie Pty Ltd, which trades as Zar Lounge from the hotel’s premises on Main Road.

The matter was brought before the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

McKenzie, a former convicted bank robber turned motivational speaker and business tycoon, is listed as the sole director of Zar in Cape Town.

McKenzie is also known for his business links with ex-convict and millionaire Kunene who was dubbed the “sushi king” following a party held at Zar in Joburg where men ate sushi off scantily-clad women.

According to court papers, McKenzie entered into a five-year lease agreement with the hotel on February 24, 2011, and agreed to pay a monthly rent of R71 500. But at the beginning of last month McKenzie was in arrears of R452 622,81, the hotel claims.

McKenzie had apparently failed to pay rent since February last year.

Documents before court features e-mails between McKenzie and the hotel’s financial manager, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and show that in November , there was an undertaking that McKenzie would pay R50 000 every Tuesday to meet the shortfall.

In one e-mail, dated November 9, McKenzie said: “We were promised that all our monies will be made available by Sars today as they have finalised their lifestyle audit on us. It will definitely be available next week.

“I really don’t know what to say as (Janse van Rensburg) has been extremely patient with this account. We have been through eight months of hell and I hate the fact that our matters disadvantaged you guys.”

McKenzie sent another e-mail: “…Lastly, we also give undertaking that we will not enter 2013 without us having fully serviced this debt.”

Phelan claims the business has gone under and asked the court to intervene.

McKenzie has not yet filed responding papers and has until March 18 in which to to do so. The hearing has been set down for April 10.

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