clifton mansion

Inside the Clifton mansion that was grossly undersold

Published by Andile Sicetsha

House 3, a Clifton mansion situated on the richest street in South Africa, is a headache property mogul Stuart Chait will have to endure for some time to come.

A look inside R200m Clifton mansion

The ocean-facing jewel was recently involved in a nasty auction that is still a subject of great contention in litigation battles. It sits on Nettleton Ridge, a street commonly referred to as the richest in the country for the high-earning mavericks it houses.

Standing at 1.62m², the mansion boasts six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, six garages, a gym, sauna, wine cellar, a glass elevator, entertainment areas, a swimming pool and other one-of-one features.

House 3 is one of only four properties on Nettleton Road, an exclusive estate that is accessed from a single, well-guarded driveway.

Why was it grossly undersold?

As beautiful and highly sought-after as this property marvel is, the fight for its ownership has been messy, to say the least. Per Sunday Times, the Clifton mansion was sold at a recent auction for R84 million, at 57% less than its original valuation.

Much of this was the result of poor handling and management by Chait and the Maverick Trust, the mansion’s former owners. In a court battle that reared its ugly head, Chait, after being removed as a trustee of the Maverick Trust, was forced to accept the auction of the mansion that started at R50 million.

The hammer fell on R84 million and while this is pricey, it’s a bad sale that does little to balance the books. Chait and the Maverick Trust owes more than R100 million in bond debt and more than R3 million in unpaid City of Cape Town utility bills.

To cut its losses, Maverick Trust is expected to finalise its share of the auction process and recoup as much as it can from the negative deal.

“My client is a loan creditor who has waited some six years to be paid, which loan long since became overdue,” Martin Bey, an attorney representing Creditsmith, a Mavericks Trust bondholder, said.

Chait has kept a low profile since the sale of the mansion. When approached by the cited publication for comment, his spokesperson Kaveer Beharee said:

‘There have been major developments relating to this entire matter, but we are not in any position to make any public comment at this time.”