Swimmer Ryk Neethling, left, model and actress Tanya van Graan, and her fianc�, Kasper Kristoffersen, party at the Shimmy Beach Bar. Picture: DENZIL JACOBS

Cape Town -

There’s a new club in town, and if the festive season guest lists are any indication, both the shining and the shady have already given the Shimmy Beach Club, at the V&A Waterfront, a test run.

Dubbed the most upmarket club the Mother City has ever seen, the 2 000m2 venue, which opened on December 7, has attracted a range of visitors as diverse as US rap star Sean Kingston, swimming sensation Ryk Neethling, and convicted fraudsters Tony Yengeni and Radovan Krejcir.

Yengeni, a member of the ANC’s national executive committee, was convicted of fraud after accepting a discount on a luxury car during the tendering process for South Africa’s controversial arms deal, while Krejcir has been sentenced in absentia to 11 years behind bars for fraud in the Czech Republic.

Other prominent guests - who were at either a special private party held on December 2 or the club’s New Year’s Eve bash - included actress and TV/radio personality Natalie Becker, models Tracy and Kerry McGregor, as well as model and actress Tanya van Graan and singer Danny K and his wife, advocate Lisa Gundelfinger.

The club features a private beach, a helicopter landing strip, a container ship-inspired bar, a luxurious restaurant, expansive outside deck, wine-cooler room and an infinity pool. The light fixtures can create the illusion of sea foam or the Milky Way.

Kingston, who rose to prominence in 2007 with his hit single Beautiful Girls, was flown in especially to entertain guests at the December 22 party, hosted by millionaire businessman Walter Hennig, a business associate of Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

Security at the venue, built at an estimated cost of between R15 million and R21m, was provided by Specialised Security Services, the security operation with alleged links to organised crime that was shut down by the Hawks last year.

One of the Specialised Security Services owners currently in court on more than 300 charges of fraud, André Naudé, was spotted there on New Year’s Eve, as was Krejcir, who told the Weekend Argus yesterday the club reminded him of those on Spanish party island Ibiza.


However, one reveller was not impressed with Krecjir’s outfit on the night: “Radovan is so damn rich, but he always wears the same clothes. A white shirt, white pointy shoes and blue jeans,” she said.


Brandon Phillips, of Communications Services Africa, which organised the two events, said a highlight was the performance by London outfit The Girlie Show, glamorous dancers and singers who fuse neo-burlesque with state-of-the-art choreography. - Sunday Argus


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