Will or not, IPHC's Modise family swim in estate's millions

Rav Glayton Modise died in February 2016, leaving a huge, luxury estate.
Rav Glayton Modise died in February 2016, leaving a huge, luxury estate.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The late International Pentcost Holiness Church (IPHC) leader Bishop Glayton Modise left behind an estate worth almost R400m.

Modise allegedly died without leaving behind a valid will. His estate will therefore be distributed as intestate, meaning only his immediate family members will be beneficiaries.

However, his second wife, Pearl Tafu, whose marriage to the late church leader was not legally recognised, was not one of the beneficiaries.

The estate, which was made of over R240m in assets, R50m in cash and R82m in claims that are still being chased by the executors, is now set to be a subject of litigation by the church, which claims that some of the assets included in Modise's estate were in fact bought using church funds.

According to a first and final liquidation and distribution account of Modise's estate dated November 15 2016, and seen by Sunday World, the late bishop was remarkably wealthy, with a fleet of almost 50 cars worth R21m. He also left behind furniture worth R3,4m, investments worth almost R110m, and properties worth nearly R30m.

Among the cars that dominated Modise's driveway includes two Roll Royces, each costing R1m, two top-of-the-range Harley Davidson bikes at R200,000 each, and a R4m BMW 7 Series.

Other bling cars in the late bishop's garages included a Chevrolet Lumina UTE, BMW X5 worth R1m, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac, Bentley Mulsanne, Toyota Landcruiser, and two Mercedez Benz vehicles.

There were also 13 buses and two tractors worth R2.4m.

Two other tractors worth R4.9m were listed as unclaimed assets alongside a R77m investment in Lichtenburg, North West.

Modise's property portfolio, according to the documents, was made up of land, houses and apartments mainly in Pretoria, Joburg and Cape Town.

In Pretoria, Modise owned eight farms worth R12.8m, 10 houses worth R10m, with the most expensive being a R3,9m property at Amandasig in the northern suburbs of the capital.

Modise owned five apartments in Cape Town worth R4.6m, and had one property in Joburg worth only R1.8m.

Who gets what

The documents show that his first wife, Mirriam, who was married to him in community of property, was the biggest beneficiary with an allocation totaling R117m, including a R3,5m cash inheritance.

Modise's five children, including Tshepiso and Leonard, each scored R13m worth of inheritance, including R500,000 cash.

The papers show that by October 2017, Mirriam had already been paid an amount of R76m by the executors.

All of Modise's kids were paid amounts ranging from R8,9m to R11m.

Tshepiso was topping the list with R11m, while Leonard had received R10m.

The documents also indicate that by end of 2017, an amount of R36,8m was still being distributed among the Modise family. At the time, Mirriam, had an outstanding amount of R19,4m from the estate, while her children had a combined balance of R17m. The papers further show that an amount of R40m was docked from the estate to realise payment of Modise's R13m tax, R17m for estate tax and statutory fees worth R10m.

Tafu's lawyer Chixx Matsie said: "We are aware that the people who reported the estate to the Master's Office excluded our client, but we cannot speculate on their reasons for doing so."

IPHC vs executors of Glayton Modise's estate

Sunday World can also reveal that there was behind-the-scenes jostling between lawyers representing executors of the Modise estate and the church's lawyers over four properties listed in Modise's estate.

According to legal correspondence seen by Sunday World dated September 3 2018 and another dated December 3 2018 titled "Claim of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) against the Estate", the church disputed the inclusion of four properties listed in Modise's estate after rumours that the executors planned to evict the church from the properties.

In one of the letters, the church, represented by Majavu Attorneys, argued that the four properties were subject of another estate, that belonging to Glayton Modise's late father Frederick Modise, which was not wound up as yet.

The church said they were expecting the properties - two in Daveyton and one in Pretoria - to be removed from Glayton's estate.

Modise family spokesperson Emmanuel Lekgau refused to comment about the estate and said the family was only prepared to talk about the church leadership.

"We don't want to enter the private space of the Comforter, what he owns, and what he does not own. We are only prepared to talk about the leadership of the church," he said.

IPHC lawyer Bonisile Majavu of Majavu Attorneys confirmed that they had laid a claim against Modise's estate with the executors but had never received any response from them.

"We have now referred the matter to the CRL Commission for intervention," he said.

Majavu also revealed that the church had also commissioned a forensic audit to look into the asset register of the IPHC going back to 1998 (the year Glayton Modise took over the leadership of the church) to identify the assets of the church and how they found their way into Modise's estate.

Majavu said the first meeting to discuss Modise's estate had already taken place at the CRL Commission offices in Joburg last week.

"The executors honoured the invite and we are going back there very soon," he said.

He also said it was shocking that Modise's estate was worth over R250m while the church owned almost nothing.

"The Comforter, as the spiritual leader of the church, was holding assets belonging to the church in trusts on behalf of the church. But now the same assets are said to be owned by him personally," he said.

"For example, how can Modise own church buses?

mothombenia@sundayworld.co.za

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