Zuma Jr may lose assets over wedding debts
The businesses and assets of President Jacob Zuma's oldest son will now fall under the spotlight as court papers are prepared by Mann's legal team.
The falling-out happened after Zuma married Phumelele Shange in October last year at a wedding to which 500 guests were invited to celebrate with the couple at the Tala Game Reserve near Camperdown, close to Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.
Paul Mann's company, Functions For Africa, was called in to make it an occasion to remember. It had certainly not been an easy project to do successfully, he said.
"Because the wedding was held on a game reserve, we had to level the ground so we could make it a good party. It was a lot of hard work," said Mann.
"I am a softie and I have now told my lawyers I won't be speaking to Edward about this matter again. Every time I pull away the sheriffs after I have spoken to him and give him another chance. I really like the guy. He's a very nice chap, so I am sorry about what I have to do. But I have to do it."
Zuma put down a deposit for his wedding and also settled R400 000 of the bill after Mann took him to court earlier this year.
For Mann, it has been a difficult time. He claims Zuma has promised that further money would come, but it did not happen. In the meantime, Mann's company has had to settle mounting debts for the wedding bills.
Tired of what he describes as Zuma's "excuses", he said he had now instructed his lawyers to pursue the last-resort avenue of sequestration.
In May, Mann filed papers in the Durban High Court ordering Zuma to pay the outstanding amount and 15.5% interest a year. When the sheriff arrived at Zuma's property to attach his assets he offered to make the R400 000 payment, said Mann.
In September the sheriff was again meant to carry out the court order, but Mann said Zuma had asked for more time and a payment plan. Although a payment plan was drafted and sent to Zuma's office, it was allegedly not signed.
Edward Zuma's attorney, Siphiwe Mncwango, said he could not respond to questions about his client.
"I don't discuss my client's issues with the media," he said. "I have just been called by another journalist and I told her the same. I won't be able to discuss my clients. There is attorney and client privilege."
Mann said numerous journalists had asked him to tell his story.
"If I am not getting my money, at least I might be getting some publicity," he said. "But this is not how I wanted it to happen. I don't want this to happen to him, because if you are sequestrated, I think, they freeze all your accounts and you get blacklisted.
"I feel really guilty about having to do this to Edward. I just wish he would pay his bills."