JOHANNESBURG – FirstRand Bank has applied to the Western Cape High Court for the liquidation of Welbedacht Wines. The wines are produced on the Welbedacht Estate in Wellington. The estate is home to the Burger family: Schalk Sr, his wife Myra, sons Schalk Jr and Tiaan, and daughter René. Schalk Sr and Jr are both former Springbok rugby players.
The application was set to be heard on Wednesday September 11 but was postponed to October 9. A copy of FirstRand’s notice of motion can be downloaded here.
At the time of writing the Burger family had not returned e-mailed and telephonic requests for comment.
According to the estate’s website, Schalk Sr acquired the Welbedacht farm in 1997. The estate produces a range of wines.
The founding affidavit for the liquidation application was deposed by Vanitha Odayar, a manager of First National Bank Wealth Legal Collections, a division of FirstRand Bank. Odayar notes that at June 11, 2013 Welbedacht Wines Proprietary was indebted to FirstRand in the amount of R3.3m.
The debt is the result of a credit facility agreement of R3.1m granted in January 2009. The facility was supposed to be repaid within two years. However, Welbedacht was granted several extensions on this repayment deadline.
Odayar points out to the court that a credit bureau assessment records four judgments and two defaults against Welbedacht Wines.
On April 23 FirstRand’s attorneys served a letter of demand on Welbedacht. Odayar says that no response was received to this demand. This left it no choice but to launch the liquidation application.
FirstRand’s loan is secured by a mortgage bond over a sectional title property in Cape Town, as well as suretyships furnished by Schalk Sr, Die Burger Familie Trust and Trakprops 60.