Serious headache for Edwin Sodi as ex-wife Nthateng Lerata demands R27 million

Serious headache for Edwin Sodi as ex-wife Nthateng Lerata demands R27 million

Serious headache for Edwin Sodi as ex-wife Nthateng Lerata demands R27 million

Troubled businessperson Edwin Sodi’s estranged wife Nthateng Lerata has sought to enforce a settlement agreement after the mogul apparently failed to pay her nearly R30 million for her part in the construction of his business empire while they were together.

Lerata, who is also thought to have helped other controversial businesspeople create companies, including G5 Group and Blackhead Consulting – which is synonymous with scoring a lucrative government tender to the tune of R44 million – cited in her documents filed at the Johannesburg High Court on March 28 that the settlement agreement was a consequence of various court actions taken by her against Sodi over the past six years.

Her court application also cited his two companies and a person identified as Nhlabanele Ramahlaleroa, who is a trustee of Sodi’s MJS Family Trust, as respondents in the action.

“Pursuant to the settlement agreement, I seek that the respondents make payment to me jointly the sum of R20 million, together with interest at the legal rate from the date when the payment became due, and a sum of R3.6 million, together with interest.

The papers read:

The settlement agreement resolved the various [court] actions and applications which were instituted between me and the respondents.

She stated that Sodi had agreed to pay her monthly instalments of R200 000 until the amount of R20 million had been settled. She alleged that he had also failed to fulfil his obligation to pay R10 000 a month for child maintenance.

“In the circumstances and having regard to the respondents’ conduct in failing to honour their obligations in terms of the settlement agreement, I seek to enforce [that] agreement by way of seeking payment by the respondents to me.

“At the outset, I point out that, when the respondents failed to comply with their obligations in terms of the settlement agreement, I was of the view that such conduct amounted to a repudiation of [that] agreement,” read her court papers.

She cited that she had been in a bitter legal dispute with Sodi since August 2016, when she had lodged her first court application, which subsequently led to a court order in 2021 instructing him to fulfil his financial obligations towards their settlement. However, the court order had been breached.

“On January 14 2022, on my instructions, my attorney of record addressed a letter to the respondents’ attorney, demanding payment of the outstanding payments due in terms of the settlement agreement.

Her papers read:

The letter was successfully transmitted to the respondents’ attorneys of record. The respondents failed to make payment.

Lerata further stated that, in February, she had sought to have Sodi held in contempt of court for his alleged failure to honour the court order.

“In their answering affidavit, the respondents maintained that they were not in contempt of the court order, as the dispute between us had been extinguished by the terms of the settlement agreement.

“They further advanced the argument that, since I had withdrawn the proceedings, pursuant to the entering into of the settlement agreement, no further payments arising out of the court order could be relied upon,” read her court papers.

She also asked the court to order Sodi to pay the costs of the application.

In March last year, he handed himself over to the Sandton Police Station for allegedly assaulting Lerata.

He had allegedly arrived at her house with a handgun and had found his estranged wife with a male friend of hers. He reportedly pointed the firearm at the friend and tried to shoot, but the weapon jammed. Sodi had then fled the house.

He subsequently appeared in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court after being charged with attempted murder. He was released on R150 000 bail.

He is also facing corruption charges alongside suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who is alleged to have benefited from a multimillion-rand tender in the Free State.

His company, along with Diamond Hill Trading (owned by the late businessperson Ignatius “Igo” Mpambani), was awarded the tender to remove asbestos roofs in the province.

By the time of going to print, neither Sodi nor Lerata had responded to requests for comment.

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