Naas and Karen Botha

Zelda Venter

PRETORIA: Rugby legend Naas Botha’s estate was provisionally sequestrated by the high court in Pretoria yesterday, after a bank claimed he owed it more than R1.1 million on a mortgage bond for a property in Mooikloof, east of the city.

Hendrik Ignatius Botha, popularly known as Naas, was not at court, nor did he oppose the provisional sequestration application, although the papers were served on him by the sheriff. He also did not place an affidavit before court setting out his possible defence.

Judge Peter Mabuse gave the former Springbok flyhalf until June 15 to oppose the application and give reasons as to why he should not be finally sequestrated.

Botha, a four-time SA rugby player of the year, has been involved in a six-year financial battle with Nedbank.

In December 2009, the bank turned to court for the first time to demand that Botha and his wife Karen pay back the money they owed in terms of the mortgage.

His wife had obtained a bond from Nedbank in January 2006 to buy the property, and Botha signed surety thereof.

As the couple defended the bank’s action, Nedbank decided to settle after the Bothas undertook to make certain payments.

Dana van Zyl, a legal adviser for Nedbank, said in papers before the court that shortly after the settlement, Karen sold the property for an amount which was insufficient to repay the full amount of the loan.

The couple also failed to make regular monthly instalments to the bank as agreed. At that time, the couple owed the bank R1 357 474 and were due to pay back R17 000 a month over seven years.

A new agreement was then signed, in terms of which Nedbank agreed to reduce the monthly instalments to R8 500 a month.

Van Zyl said the couple once again fell in arrears and a third agreement was entered into last year. By then the amount owed was about R1.1m. Van Zyl said the couple failed to pay the debt in March, June and July last year. The bank then decided to withdraw the agreement.

Last August, the court ordered the couple to pay the more than R1.1m, and a month later an order was issued that their movable property could be sold on execution to recover the money.