Self proclaimed King Melizwe Dlamini addressing members of the media at his house in La lucia Picture : MTHOBISI MBANJWA

Despite his last-minute negotiations with Nedbank, would-be king, Prince Mmelizwe Dlamini’s luxury La Lucia home was sold for R3.2 million on auction on Monday to a Durban buyer who declined to be named.

Nedbank claimed in court papers that Dlamini had failed to keep up the R30 000 monthly bond instalments and owed more than R3m.

The bank obtained judgment against Dlamini in March and the house was handed over to the Inanda sheriff’s office for it to be auctioned off.

Last week, Dlamini’s lawyer Rajesh Sunker said his client was in negotiations with the bank to try to prevent the sale.

Dlamini has battled since 2003 to have the government recognise him as a king.

He claims he is the leader of the Nhlangwini kingdom, near Highflats and wants to be given the same status as Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.

He pleaded his case for kingship before the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims in April this year and is awaiting its decision.

On Monday, the sale of the double-storey Ellingham Drive property was meant to start after 9am but was delayed because of a defect in a notice in the Government Gazette.

While potential buyers, including Pietermaritzburg businessman Sunny Gayadin, kicked their heels at the sheriffs office, Nedbank’s lawyers dashed to the Durban High court to get an order compelling Sheriff RR Singh to proceed with the sale.

In papers before Acting Judge Nalini Govender, the lawyers said Singh had told them on Friday that he would not hold the auction because the notice incorrectly stated that the conditions of sale could be inspected at the sheriff of Pinetown’s office, instead of the sheriff of Inanda District Two.

The lawyers said the mistake had been made by the government printers but elsewhere in the notice, and in the heading, the details were correct.

Acting Judge Govender ruled that the sale should go ahead.

Before the auction, potential buyers questioned whether an eviction order would be required to get Dlamini off the property once it was sold.

The Mercury reported last week that auctioneer Ian Wyles’s assistant Edward Nxumalo was kicked off the property when he had attempted to take pictures of the house.

After an intense bidding battle, a Durban entrepreneur purchased the house. He will have to pay an outstanding rates bill of R339 000 and is not guaranteed vacant occupation.

The Mercury tried to contact Dlamini for comment but was referred to a Penuel Dlamini, the Nhlangwini’s tribe’s head of protcol.

Penuel said he could not comment on whether Dlamini would move out of the home.

“It is a royal matter. We are not allowed to talk about it.”

Sunker could not be reached for comment. - The Mercury