Vukile Phumlani Armstrong Mtshali has lost an urgent interdict in the Pretoria High Court against his estranged wife, Deborah Mtshali, because it lacked urgency.
Vukile, 47, was seeking an order forbidding her from selling off joint assets and from spending any money in her business bank accounts because, he said, the businesses were registered in her name to secure tenders more easily, South Africa’s City Press reported.
Deborah, 44, from eMalahleni, told sister paper Rapport that his claims amounted to “rubbish” and denied all of his allegations, including that she had planned to have him assassinated and was having an affair.
Vukile asked the court to order Absa and Standard Bank to freeze her accounts for the Belle Doné Boutique Hotel & Spa in eMalahleni, Pacific Breeze Trading and New Order Investments until they are divorced.
“I was a successful entrepreneur with many businesses and tenders. My businesses paid for my life of luxury,” he said in papers before the court.
These included tenders for services rendered to hospitals and a company called Coalition Trading.
He met Deborah, whose own successful business ventures made them particularly “compatible,” in 2012 and they married in 2013.
He claimed they made a verbal business agreement that included registering all their businesses in her name to favor the awarding of tenders because, as a Black woman, she qualified for a higher black economic empowerment (BEE) certificate.
He was made managing director of the companies.
“We sold our shares in Eyethu Coal and with the money demolished our old house in Durban to build a mansion,” he said in court papers.
But at the beginning of 2018 he said he learnt she was cheating on him and then she moved out of their Durban home and back to eMalahleni and “blocked me from accessing our bank accounts.”
“I am unemployed,” he said in the court papers, while Deborah has “lots of entities and money in her name that she is using.”
He said he now lives in a flat in Centurion that is rented by a family member.
Deborah, however, told Rapport that his BEE claims were not true and that she always had her own businesses.
She said Vukile “charmed” her into a relationship, but once they were married she realized he was after her money.
When they met, she said, she had five cars. Now she just has one because he loaned the others to people and they were written off.
“We went to see a psychologist together and he admitted he used my money to please other people,” she said, adding that Vukile never owned any shares in Eyethu Coal and that she left him just in time, before he bankrupted her.
“I paid his debt, his credit card. He found me with businesses and left me with almost nothing.”
Her parting shot? “He has a degree. He can get a job.”