Now only Mswati owns a Maybach!

2005-01-29 22:29

SOUTH Africa's super-rich would love to cruise in a R3,4 million Maybach 62 - - but only one man in southern Africa owns a model: Swaziland's big-spending King Mswati III.

The saga of the super-luxury sedan took a new twist on Friday when City Press established that neither billionaire mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, nor Mvelapanda boss and former Gauteng premier Tokyo Sexwale own a Maybach 62.

Motsepe, Sexwale and Ramaphosa had earlier been linked to the vehicle, which costs between R3,4 and R4 million - minus optional extras - and for which you require a R500 000 deposit. But while Motsepe and Sexwale did not bother to respond to claims that they were owners, Ramaphosa threatened to sue. He reached an out of court settlement with the company late this week.

DaimlerChrysler South Africa maintains its spokesperson, Fanyana Shiburi, had been "misquoted". Shiburi was quoted in a Swaziland newspaper - after Mswati purchased the car last year - as saying Maybach drivers were "the super rich, kings and queens, rich oil-producing countries, people from North Africa, and Lotto winners". He had also allegedly named Ramaphosa, Sexwale and Motsepe as being owners.

But on Friday City Press established that nobody in southern Africa owned the Maybach 62 - except King Mswati. The only other Maybach in SA is the demo at the DaimlerChrysler Pretoria showroom.

Chris Vick, spokesperson for Sexwale, laughed off any suggestions the former Robben Island prisoner owned a Maybach. " He owns a little black Beetle," said Vick.

DaimlerChrysler's SA spokesperson Deon Ebersohn confirmed that only Mswati owns a Maybach. The Swazi monarch paid cash.

Critics argued the cash should have been used to fight Aids and poverty in Swaziland.

- City Press