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Doom And Gloom For Mayfair Speculators

Damning affidavit paints a picture

The liquidation hearing of the Markus Jooste-owned Mayfair Speculators was postponed to next year, after Judge Siraj Desai ruled in the Cape High Court that the matter needs a full hearing, as it has far-reaching implications.

The personal Markus Jooste silks of maroon , yellow and white are no more

Earlier this week, Jooste relinquished his racing silks and resigned as a member of the National Horseracing Authority. The move was met with some suggestions of tokenism and cynicism as the majority of his horses run under the banner of the company.

The question of whether the sale of the Mayfair Speculators horses-in-training would continue and if trainers would continue to be paid remains unanswered. It would make every sense to allow the company to continue trading but that obviously requires cash resources. The judgement makes reference to the opening of a second ‘operating expenses’ bank account, which will be closely monitored by ABSA and a weekly budget/cash-flow is required to be submitted to the bank.

Our enquiries have not been responded to in this regard.

In court papers on Friday supporting the liquidation application, Moneyweb reports that Absa accuses Jooste and Stefan Potgieter, his son-in-law and currently the sole director of Mayfair Speculators, of ‘naked fraud’ following representations made to Investec and the transfer of assets from Mayfair Speculators to its holding company.

The court papers suggest that Mayfair Speculators owes three banks more than R1.2 billion. Absa claims R226 million, whilst Investec and Sanlam are owed R250 million and R800 million respectively.

These loans were secured by Mayfair Speculators’ holding of Steinhoff shares. The banks have now called up these loans after Steinhoff’s shares fell from around R60 to less than R5 in recent weeks, following one of the largest ever corporate scandals in South Africa.

Judge Siraj Desai

Judge Desai said during the hearing that the matter is of “great importance” for several parties and postponed the matter to 8 February. The Sun Met will be run on 27 January.

In an explosive affidavit dated December 17, Absa manager Hester van Niekerk alleges that Jooste concluded several finance transactions prior to Steinhoff’s board announcement on December 6. She says Jooste must have known at that stage that there were financial irregularities in Steinhoff and that this would negatively affect the share price.

InvestecShe says Mayfair Speculators, represented by Potgieter, with the backing of Jooste, “induced Investec at the end of November to advance a further amount of R93 509 000 as recorded by Investec (in its application), both Potgieter and Jooste must have known, when Speculators applied for and received the further advance from Investec, that the collapse in the Steinhoff share price was imminent. They intentionally failed to disclose these facts to Investec.”

Elsewhere in the affidavit, she says: “There can also be little doubt that the conduct of Potgieter and Jooste in inducing Investec to advance a further amount of approximately R95 million to Speculators on 29 November 2017 was also nothing less than naked fraud. It constituted a further step in the fraudulent course of conduct.”

Mayfair has until 10 January to file its answering papers and ABSA would then have a further seven days to file replying papers.

Read the full judgement here – courtesy of Moneyweb

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12 comments on “Doom And Gloom For Mayfair Speculators

  1. Ian Jayes says:

    The training fees every month must be enormous and trainers who still have to care for the horses out of their own pockets will probably end up sucking the hind tit and recover very little of the money owed. Stakes earned by the horses in the meantime will go to the benefit of creditors and trainers will have to stand in line. We in the “Concerned Owners” who opposed him were villified and treated as outcasts by those who sucked-up to him and did his bidding without question. The fallout should not stop at Markus Jooste and it is poetic justice that all the cringing and grovelling to the so-called saviour of horseracing has come to this. With saviours like this, you don’t need destroyers.All the judge has done by postponing to 8 February is to prolong the agony.

  2. perd says:

    maybe now smaller owners and smaller trainers and honest ones at that will be treated better by their”:bosses” time to listen to them how racing should run behind the scenes

  3. Judith says:

    Assumption: I am a wealthy older person desirous of spending my money on the world of horse racing. I know nothing about horses, owners, trainers, jockeys, betting. But I would like to invest because watching the horses run thrills me, and I would like to put some of my money in this venture.
    So, the horse racing world knows this: how do they attract me? How do they entice me to drop some of my money into this world?
    As I see it, they do absolutely nothing to attract me. It appears, on investigation to be a world filled with anger, bitterness, finger pointing, outrage – the list is endless. I have tried, with the Mayfair/Jooste/Steinhoff debacle, to get to the nitty gritty of the horse racing world, to be fair, to understand why certain people or groups of people behave in a certain manner … Zip. I have seldom come across more anger and ugliness than in this world. The joy from some groups that their initial feelings about Jooste have apparently been proven correct, overrides the dreadful fallout from the implosion of a group that appears to have been a major financial contributor to the horseracing world in South Africa.
    So, Jooste is gone. How does the gap left by the departure of his money (ill-gotten or not) get filled? Every single group invested in racing in South Africa should be looking for a solution and not cheering that their initial doubts were proven correct.
    As I see it – as a potential investor – the system stinks and until there is some unity on a way forward, the Mayfair debacle will have a long-reaching and ultimately destructive impact on horse racing in this country. A year ago, if I had had millions, I would have invested in horseracing in South Africa – now? I read the chirrups of joy at Jooste’s demise, and I wonder if it is worth it.

    1. William Milkovitch says:

      Give Bitcoin a go, Judith.

      1. Judith says:

        I might if it looked more like a horse. However, it does seem to move up and down very rapidly …

  4. Albert X says:

    Dearest Judith,

    I am not sure of your motives for criticising people who told horse racing that Markus Jooste was not to be trusted and would ruin horse racing. These people were right. It is that simple. Everyone else was wrong. The correct ones can scream from the mountain tops. They have that right. They tried and no-one listened.

    We are now a few weeks after the fallout started and nothing has changed in horse racing. While the corporate world affected by the mammoth alleged frauds of Markus Jooste is working feverishly to cut losses and to survive, South African horse racing has buried its head in the sand and is doing nothing to determine the affects of the fallout which will hit horse racing like a nuclear bomb.

    No steps have been taken to investigate Markus Jooste’s involvement in racing. At the same time he resigned from Steinhoff, he resigned from Phumelela. Mr Jooste is a director of many many companies and Phumelela was top of his list. It makes you think.

    The Steinhoff alleged fraud could not have been perpetrated achieved by Mr Jooste on his own. He had to have been assisted. Possibly, the problem with horse racing is that it is doing nothing because their are so many that have worked with Mr Jooste. Horse racing needs to get rid of the Markus Jooste appointed people.

    Mr Jayes can sing as loud as he wants. Well done to him. He tried to help horse racing. Mr Jooste and his cronies painted him a bad light. I dare say that you Judith are one of those people. Horse racing needs to thank the Ian Jayes of the work and to start listening to them.

    If I mentioned the names of the Markus Jooste cronies that remain in power, this comment will not be published by the Sporting Post. His influence has stretched to the NHRA, the RA, Phumelela, Tellytrack, Kenilworth Racing and the Racing Trust.

    1. Judith says:

      Hi Albert, I apologise if it came across that I was attacking the anti-Jooste brigade. It certainly was not my attention and I am in position to do so. Mr Jayes excellent observations gave me a lot to think about. I do not know Mr Jooste in any capacity at all – his only appeal for me lay in the fact that he owned Variety Club! I also did not know there was such a strong anti-Jooste sentiment, or the reasons behind it. All I would love to do is own a racehorse (or two) and do what Justice says he does, without all this ugliness. But the industry as it stands doesn’t offer too many carrots to encourage this donkey to join.

      1. Ian Jayes says:

        Judith, I had been involved in racing for around sixty years, I held office in all areas of racing for many years. I made myself unpopular in trying to get remedial action on a number of issues that were detrimental to horseracing, not least of which is the “medication” of horses for racing. At the then age of 74 I would probably have retired in a year or two but Phumelela hastened this by giving me three-months notice to vacate my stables at the Vaal. I was not in arrears with the rent and they had never done this to any trainer before and have not done so since. I believe it was purely a vindictive act by petty people who did not like looking into the mirror that I held up to them. If you want an insight into South African horseracing, past and present I suggest you acquire my autobiography “Footsteps, Heartbeats and Hoofbeats” published by Amazon. It is also available as an e-book from Kindle.

  5. Justice says:

    hi Judith in going to paste my
    My CORENGEL EXPERIENCE !! This is my story and is no reflection of any Association, Authority or member of racing .

    Years ago my parents were PASSIONATE racehorses owners they had tremendous enjoyment and wonderful memories , my father was tragically murdered ,my mom never renewed their colours and 15 years later still griefs the losss of a great man ,loving husband and devoted father.

    I was approached last year with shares in a horse being available due to a partner having financial problems and these guys sales pitch led me to believe that this was a great deal.I renewed my fathers colours and was so excited and hopeful in my mom reliving her memories of the good times when racing with my dad .

    6 months later certain facts that were conveniently never disclosed in the sale. pitch This began when i queried an account and was ignored eventually i was given an answer that seemed suspicious this led me to hours of research uncovering many discrepancies and misconduct in their failure to disclose important information , if this was mentioned to me I have no doubt our agreement and negotiating would have significant differences .

    SARS VAT ?

    Dennis Pavlovitch owner complained and was immediately removed and ignored.
    I’ve been accused of extortion and having a vendetta.

    The appropriate action will take time but Truth and Justice will prevail and be the winner at the end of the day . This is my experience as mentioned my parents had great enjoyment as owners , I have family and many friends involved in racing and experience nothing but great professionalism, thorough enjoyment and enthusiasm of this great sport. I’ve moved the 3. year old gelding to an a Gartry Alexander and what a breath of fresh air , the horses get clean distilled water ,an str room for density , vets can geld administer medical treatment at the stables t h

    I’m amazed at people , we accept bad service , inaccurate bills monthly ,daily , car guards and beggars are all getting paid , its not difficult or brain surgery ,if we didn’t gives them money they would move!!!! This South Africa says ya its OK to be treated badly and we allow it to happen every single day. .

    Gambling is big businesses in South Africa , sports betting on any sport darts ,bowls to 0s and Xs yes and you the punter taking soccer bets ,Horseracing , and off course the weekly lotto ! Ask yourself this ….. have I ever met a lotto winner ? …….. The answer is NO!
    Noe we have or had a big player in South African Horseracing that spends millions purchasing Thoroughbred racehorses on every auction every year, a director of CTS auctioneers last week but that’d over ! I am a racehorse owner and feel extremely honoured and privileged to have my racing colours , its a sport meant for laughs , enjoyment and the mesmerizing movement of watching a thoroughbred cantering to the starting gate is an experience like no other and when your horse wins that cannot be described words don’t do exist this I do knowledge ….you want to relive that experience its infinite joy !

    As 2017 slowly vanishes into a memory allow me to
    Implore all supporters of horseracing to band together as Mr Jooste explains his activity in breeding ,owning and racing all over the world with his Mayfair Speculators Team , I suspect a huge scandal is on the horizon and i m waiting patiently ear to the ground. Continue your support as a punter but don’t accept any Blah blah ask for facts .,_ Judith I have shares available in in a gelding 3 year old , As for Alexander racing stables its all about the horse ,They treat all patrons with honesty and professionalism, Tue morning gallops are fun and come race day my tailor makes an outfit in pink ,black and white like my racing silks paulkaram @telkomsa.ne

    1. Graham Hurlstone-jones says:

      There is something very wrong with this whole Mayfair set up from inception to now. A few of us have wondered how this thing had grown into an all encompassing entity that stands alone against anything that has ever existed in SA. It is in the banks interest to keep the monstrous entity alive but if it had been used cars the whole lot would be gone in one big auction. The timing, the birth of Mayfair, the Director of Mayfair, The sudden collapse of Steinhoff all make for questions, what is Mayfair all about ? what was its purpose ?……I cannot believe this was put together the way it is only for the big collapse to come along but Mayfair survives….I suppose on a positive note Mayfair could have been designed to do exactly what it is doing now and that is to protect its interests knowing the storm was coming or should that be a cynical note. Having said that, the spotlight on SA racing and the availability of such a large high quality racing stock can only be a good thing, it also highlights the quality of racing in SA. Boy I hope I am wrong because that would make the gold stars under Mayfair fraudulent from the word go. Only one person really knows the truth but actions speak louder than words and the timing just makes it even more suspicious….

  6. Mashie says:

    Judith, buy a horse (with the help of a trainer) and put it with him and you will get exactly what you want – good communication and a lot of fun. I have horses with Dennis Drier and I have loved everything about the way he conducts a business. He is nothing short of professional and his communication is excellent. I love the game because of him and would never change- just my opinion

  7. Callryt says:

    Hi Judith we love your style
    Do what you want and your comments need to be read and you will always get people that dont agree NOT IMPORTANT
    Great Mashie Drier is the best

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