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Rites & Wrongs

I refer to your article with the title “Property Rites”. I must confess that I have not seen “the confusing letter” created by Aucor.

I feel it is necessary to raise the following:-
1. I am not an RA member and I am quite sure that there are many owners in Cape Town who are also not RA members. The sale of assets which are used by horseracing affects everyone either directly or indirectly whether currently or in the future. I have not seen any information given to owners or any other interested party why Kenilworth Racing (Pty) Ltd believes it is necessary to sell Milnerton. If Cape owners have this information then it would be nice for other owners to have same. One reason for advising all owners is that an owner from another province who wants to have his/her horses running in Cape Town and trained and stabled at Milnerton should be informed of all developments as it may affect his/her decision. Simply, I am asking that there be full transparency regarding the intentions for Milnerton and what is going to transpire regarding the trainers and horses stabled and situated thereat. The following is stated by Aucor and a trainers representative: “Following the initial consultation, the Milnerton trainers’ representatives (Brett Crawford and Mark Bass) approached Vidrik Thurling with a request that consideration be given to acquiring land in the vicinity of Milnerton (instead of to Philippi or Modderrivier). A very preliminary review confirmed that this option was not financially viable at this stage, but would continue to be explored. The property committee is therefore continuing to explore all alternatives, including the relocation of all or some trainers to Modderrivier and/or Philippi.” Clearly trainers training at Milnerton want to remain in the vicinity of Milnerton. The directors of Kenilworth Racing and Phumelela have made a clear decision, namely that the vicinity of Milnerton is not financially viable. If this is so, then the trainers’ situate at Milnerton and all the owners and interested persons should be told why it is not financially viable especially since there are already viable training facilities at the current Milnerton site. I would venture guess that the answer lies in the bottom line. In other words, it has nothing to do with owners or trainers being accommodated as they have over the past few decades rather it has everything to do with making a profit. So, like Phumelela, Kenilworth Racing (Pty) Ltd will be putting itself and its profits first and at the same time putting everything else second.

2. In the article it is also said that “It was also false in mentioning that “Phumelela have agreed in principal to offer a soft loan”. Riaan du Plessis undertook to recommend to the board of Kenilworth Racing that consideration be given to making a soft loan available to those trainers who wished to relocate to premises other than Philippi.” Horseracing people must have the shortest memories in the world. The competition tribunal stated on 7 February 2013 inter alia, that “ [59] But Phumelela’s ability to control Kenilworth has a further dimension unknown prior to the hearing. It emerged at the hearing for the first time, that Vidrik Thurling, one of two initial directors of Kenilworth and a key player in arranging the demerger and merger transactions, had reached an oral agreement with Du Plessis of Phumelela for any necessary bridging finance. The Commission was rightly critical of the fact that this evidence was never revealed before in the witness statements of the parties or their earlier submissions.”

What is the truth?

Brett Maselle
Via email

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