Durban - A dancing cage, strobe lights, mirror balls, fake leather settees and some statues are the subject of the latest court tussle as Durban Teazers boss Shaun Russouw fights to save his business after the murder of his former boss and business partner, Lolly Jackson.
Russouw brought an urgent application to the Durban High Court this week to halt the seizure of goods from his Springfield Park premises by auctioneer Ian Wyles, on behalf of the liquidators of Teazers Comedy and Revue.
Russouw recently made headlines again after it was reported that he had bought the old Gordon’s Prawn restaurant premises in uMhlanga, sparking fears among residents in the upmarket holiday town that he would open a strip club there.
He reportedly refused to confirm or deny the strip club rumours.
He did, however, tell the Mercury this week that it was his “plan B”, because he was “tired of fighting”.
Russouw’s legal battles began after Jackson’s murder in Joburg in May 2010, when Jackson’s widow, Demi Jackson, inherited the lion’s share of his sleaze business.
Russouw maintained Jackson had another will which left the Durban business – which Russouw had run since it opened in 2000 – to him.
In November 2012, Demi secured an eviction order against the club, but Russouw refused to back off and took the matter on appeal.
This was argued in February and judgment has not yet been handed down.
In the meantime, he says, in his affidavit before acting Judge Bulelwa Ndamase, that he and Teazers liquidator Heiko Draht have been negotiating the possibility of him buying the business or the building outright, and buying all the moveable assets which belonged to the club.
“Draht asked Ian Wyles to make an inventory of the contents of the premises and he valued them at R64 790,” Russouw said.
“I disputed that all the items belonged to Teazers (in liquidation).
“He asked me for proof and I provided invoices for the items I had purchased.
“He said he made an affidavit, attached these invoices and forwarded it to the liquidator.”
Russouw said that in an attempt to avoid further litigation, he had made an offer of R50 000 for the assets.
While Draht had said that was acceptable, it had now been rejected by the major creditor, the Receiver of Revenue, which wanted an offer not less than Wyles’ initial valuation.
“I would be effectively paying for assets which belong to me.
“And I had already paid rental of R17 000 for those assets, not because it was due but under duress to stop it from being attached earlier,” he said.
Russouw accuses the liquidator of not following proper attachment procedures and obtaining a warrant of attachment “under false pretences”, because there were no reasonable grounds for believing the assets might be hidden or disposed of.
He said that should the assets be removed the business would have to shut down.
“The only reason the liquidator is insisting on their removal is to force me to increase my offer and this constitutes an abuse of process,” he said.
The matter was adjourned until next month to enable further negotiations.