‘The matter has been resolved by agreement. May it please be removed from roll.’
Johannesburg – The details of an out-of-court settlement between former president Jacob Zuma’s family and an ANC MP in their battle over a Joburg suburb house have been wrapped under confidentiality.
A lawyer for Zephrona Sizani Dubazana, the litigant, arrived at the South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, to ask Judge Ingrid Opperman to remove the matter from the roll as an agreement had been reached.
“The matter has been resolved by agreement. May it please be removed from roll,” said the lawyer in proceedings that lasted no more than 30 seconds.
Judge Opperman obliged. She had been informed on Monday that negotiations were under way to find a last-minute solution to the impasse between Dubazana and Zuma’s family over the posh house in Forest Town.
Zuma has been renting out the house from Dubazana since 2005. Dubazana dragged his family to court as she wanted to gain access to the house for purposes of selling it, as Zuma had allegedly defaulted on rent.
Judge Opperman was not told the nature of the settlement.
Former president Jacob Zuma’s house in Forest Town was the scene of a number of incidents which continue to plague him. File picture: Independent Media Archives.
It emerged after the brief proceedings that the parties agreed to keep the details confidential.
Brian Clayton, Dubazana’s attorney, told The Star all parties agreed not to disclose publicly whether the house would be sold via an estate agency or whether the Zumas would pay Dubazana and keep it.
“The matter has been settled. The details of the settlement are confidential. I cannot disclose anything,” said Clayton.
Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathabela would also not comment.
“As the office of the former president, we can’t comment because this is a family matter,” he said.
Due to Zuma’s alleged defaulting on the rent, Absa won a court judgment last year to attach the house and auction it off.
Dubazana’s resolve to sell the house would avoid an auction by Absa.
According to reports, Zuma’s daughter, Phumzile, previously offered to buy the property for R3.4m, but Dubazana rejected it on grounds that she agreed to sell it to the Zumas for R7.5m in 2009.
She procured the house for Zuma after he was axed from government in 2005. He was fired from his position as deputy president.
The house on Epping Road, Forest Town, was a centre of controversy in 2006.
Accusations of rape Zuma faced in 2006 emanated from this home. The late Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, known as Khwezi, alleged that Zuma raped her when she visited.
Zuma was acquitted of the rape charge, after arguing that he had consensual sex with the daughter of his late ANC stalwart, Judson Kuzwayo.