Durban - The future of Durban’s most-popular strip joint is being thrashed out in the high court, where slain sleaze boss Lolly Jackson’s widow Demi is pitted against her husband’s former partner.
Shaun Russouw says he and Lolly had an oral agreement around ownership of the Teazers club in Springfield Park, a business that was earning Jackson at least R100 000 a month at the time he was murdered in May 2010.
Demi Jackson claimed in court last week that since her husband’s death, Russouw had not paid her any rent, nor had he shared any of the profits from Teazers - and he continued to use the name illegally.
Russouw in turn has threatened to go to court to contest Lolly’s will, which left everything to Demi, saying his partner had promised him the Durban business.
Acting Judge Maurice Pillemer will now decide Teazers’ fate.
The sparring began last year when Demi, through Interactive Trading Pty Ltd, which she inherited from her husband, applied to the Durban High Court for an order ejecting the club from the company’s Aloefield Crescent premises.
She claimed there was an oral lease agreement in terms of which Russouw would pay rent of R20 000 a month. She said Russouw had not paid anything and, at that time, owed more than R360 000.
Russouw said this was not true. The deal was that Lolly would provide the venue and he would run the club.
Demi headed back to court with an urgent application earlier this year, contesting the existence of any oral partnership agreement, but saying that if there was one, she had now cancelled it. She wanted access to the books and wanted a liquidator appointed to sort out who would get what.
Russouw, she says, is still paying nothing in rent, the business is mainly cash-based and she is entitled to see the bank accounts.
Russouw says he is offsetting the rent against what he is owed for improvements.
“She is attempting to curb my resources to prevent my challenge to the will by embarking on a series of litigation,” he said, referring to a lawyer’s letter she had also sent attempting to stop him from trading as “Teazers”.
He agrees that a liquidator be appointed to “assist with proper accounting and debatement”, but wants to continue trading.
When the matter was argued on Friday, advocate Alan Lamplough, for Demi, said first prize would be the ejectment order because this would “be a rejection of the concept of the existence of the partnership.”
Advocate Archie Findlay, for Russouw, said Demi could not bring an application for ejectment and to contest the partnership because one undermined the other.
“She has to choose. Either they elect that there was no partnership agreement and persist with the ejectment, or they say there was an agreement and persist with that application.”