Player in R33m legal battle

2013-06-26 09:16
Gary Player (File)
Cape Town - South African golf legend Gary Player is involved in a legal battle with his former best friend, who is suing Player for R33m.

According to the Beeld website, controversial Scottish-born businessman David King claims Player never paid back the $1m (about R6.1m) he lent him back in 1999.

King now wants the money back with interest and has asked the Grahamstown Magistrates Court to lay claim on the shares Player has in his stud farm outside Colesburg.

King claims one of his trusts, Talacar Holdings, has 49% shares in the farm, while Player owns 51%.

The court has granted an interim interdict to King and Player must now give reasons why it shouldn't be enforced.

Player's lawyer, Rael Gootkin, said his client will definitely oppose the claim.

Player admits he received R6.1m from King, but insists there was no loan agreement between them. Player said King offered to settle the debt he had at IMG Sport Management back in 1999.

As a favour to King, he would then have been allowed to travel with Player to big tournaments and even be his caddy on odd occasions.

But Kings denies this, and says the loan agreement was made on July 18, 1999 when he carried Player's bag at the British Open at Carnoustie, Scotland.

"At that stage I was already his caddy and had previously carried his bag at the Masters. It was when we were in Scotland that he informed me that he was struggling financially and asked me if I would grant him a loan," King said in court documents.

According to the TimesLIVE website, King, who was reportedly one of the richest men in South Africa, fell foul of the SA Revenue Service in 2001. He said he had not called in the loan in the intervening years because he knew SARS would immediately have seized it to offset his disputed tax debt.

The 77-year-old Player is South Africa's most successful golfer, having won nine major titles between 1959 and 1978.

Read more on:    gary player  |  golf

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