Lichaba's car business loses parking spot

09 October 2018 - 10:48
By AUBREY MOTHOMBENI
Sophie Ndaba and Max Lichaba.
Sophie Ndaba and Max Lichaba.

Former Generations actress Sophie Ndaba's husband and businessman Moeketsi "Max" Lichaba's car business has been kicked out of its rented business space by the landlord over nonpayment of R30 000 rent.

The landlord obtained an eviction order against Lichaba 2012 Gold & Diamond (Pty) Limited, trading as Lichaba Auto Design, owned by the popular businessman, who also owns Soweto's Kwa-Lichaba Chesanyama.

The property owners, TIAUTO Investments, had claimed in its application at the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg two months ago that Lichaba always paid rent late and he owed them R30 000 in unpaid rent.

They added that he had also refused to vacate the premises based in Cresta, Joburg, after they cancelled his lease agreement due to nonpayment.

"Very soon after taking occupation of the leased premises, the respondent fell into arrears regarding the payment of rental and other amounts payable to the applicant in terms of the lease agreement.

"The applicant made repeated demands to the respondent ... to make payment of the aforesaid arrears and to ensure that in future all amounts payable in terms of the lease agreement are paid timeously.

"Very soon after taking occupation of the leased premises, the respondent fell into arrears

"All of the demands fell on deaf ears and the respondent would frequently pay the applicant late and only after numerous requests by the applicant that it [Lichaba Auto Design] make payment," reads the papers.

According to the lease agreement signed by both parties dated April 1 2016, Lichaba secured the premises for a monthly rent of R16 335 for the period April 1 2016 to March 31 2017 and paid a deposit of R47 960 before taking occupation.

The amount was to increase to R17 805.15 per month for the following year and another increase was expected to take the monthly sum to R19 407.61 for the 2018/ 19 period.

The documents show that Lichaba had defaulted on his monthly rent in April 2018 and now owed R30 473.

In the papers, the company also claimed that Lichaba had ignored their letters informing him of their decision to terminate the lease agreement due to failure to make payment.

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The court papers show that Lichaba had disputed that he was a bad payer and also questioned the company's decision to kick him out, claiming that he got the letters three days after they had sent them to him.

Lichaba, who told Sunday World that he vacated the premises in June, added that his removal from the rented premises was motivated by race. "They have always wanted me out of the place because I was the only black person who owned a shop there.

"There were some people who were not happy with me there. We are now based in Randburg and have found a bigger space," he said.

Lichaba said the dispute between himself and his landlord started when they refused to amend his lease agreement to allow him to pay rent on the 4th of every month to accommodate the nature of his business.

TIAUTO Investments sales representative Lukas Johannes Fourie confirmed that Lichaba vacated the premises.