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Johannesburg - ANC Mpumalanga bigwig Charles Makola is set to lose his R1.6-million Witbank property after he failed to pay R1.3m he owed to Absa.

The bank made available a facility of R1.3m to Makola, who was Deputy President David Mabuza’s second-in-charge when he was the ANC’s provincial chairperson in Mpumalanga.

Makola had agreed to pay a minimum of R10 500 in monthly instalments.

He is among the party leaders in the province who have been touted to replace Mabuza as provincial chairperson - a position that has been vacant since December 2017, when Mabuza was elected ANC deputy president.

But court papers show that Makola failed to repay the instalments and, by November 2017, owed over R1.32m.

Absa demanded Makola pay the R1.32m with interest at an interest rate of 9.25% from November 2018.

The former Nkangala district municipal manager had put his Witbank Extension 10 residence up as security for the private banking account he utilised for six years.

Mpumalanga High Court Acting Judge Hein Brauckmann found that although the purpose for which Makola used the account was unknown, such facilities are normally used for business purposes.

In his judgment last month, Judge Brauckmann was unconvinced by Makola’s explanation for his inability to service the facility after using it for six years, and owing Absa more than when the agreement was entered into.

Makola told the court that Absa had closed the account and, as a result, he was prejudiced.

He said the bank breached its own agreement with him.

He argued that this led to him being unable to verify the correct amount outstanding under the agreement.

Attempts to reopen his accounts were unsuccessful, with no response from Absa, he said.

The value of Makola’s property was R1.6m and its forced sale value was just over R1.06m, which is less than the outstanding debt, while he also owed about R9000 in rates and taxes.

Judge Brauckmann ordered that an amount of R1.43m be set as a reserve price for the property.

The judge rejected Makola’s claims his right to adequate housing would be compromised and that his family would be left destitute and living on the streets.

“For present purposes, it is appropriate to record that I am unable to secure alternative accommodation for myself, my wife and children should the immovable property be declared specially executable and subsequently sold by the plaintiff (Absa), notwithstanding the immense upset and trauma that it could cause to my wife and children,” Makola argued.

But Judge Brauckmann said Makola did not provide sufficient particulars in respect to his right to housing, or the reserve price to be set by the court.

Political Bureau