End of the road for disastrous luxury North West development (Platinum Planet)

End of the road for disastrous luxury North West "Metsi Pepa" development

Only a portion of investors in the controversial and now defunct luxury Metsi Pepa development in the North West province can expect to get a percentage of their money back, depending on who they paid their hard earned cash to.

As recently as July 13 2011, developers Nicola and Jaco Prinsloo promised investors that the project was on track and that the development would be completed towards the end of the year.

But, last week Nicola Prinsloo and her attorney Johan Botha confirmed to Moneyweb that the land had been sold to government for less than 30% of its commercial value. A settlement was reached with the Department of Rural Development after protracted negotiations. Botha says investors who paid deposits or full amounts when the development was first sold in 2007 will be able to apply for compensation, with conditions, and this is where the waters become muddied. More than 200 people invested their money in this development.

Prinsloo says only investors who paid monies directly to Metsi Pepa’s nominated lawyers and auditors will qualify to apply for compensation. Those who paid the marketing company Platinum Planet at the time will unfortunately not. Botha says it has emerged that several individuals had paid their deposits or full amounts to Platinum Planet headed by Cherie Eilertsen whom some have described as the “evangelist” of property.

In the past year, Moneyweb has been inundated with complaints over Eilertsten’s hard-hitting direct marketing strategies which have left people out of pocket and in some instances bankrupt.

Several attempts have been made to reach Eilertsen to ascertain what has happened to the deposits and other revenue paid to her, but she has not responded.

The Metsi Pepa development, situated between Potchefstroom and Carletonville, has been dogged by controversy since its inception and if that wasn’t enough it was recently burnt down in a spate of fires in the North West province. In fact, it’s been alleged that the fire originated on Metsi Pepa, destroying 6 000 hectares of farmland and killing scores of small wild animals on the property. It’s been alleged that Eskom workers were accidently responsible for the blaze.

Surrounding farmers also suffered damages running into millions. It’s understood the farm had already been sold at the time of the catastrophe which happened towards the end of August 2011.

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Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!