Zimbabwean businessman James Makamba could lose Sandhurst mansion Villa Royale

James Makamba’s sprawling Johannesburg property could soon be confiscated by Absa bank to recover a $4.5m (R59m) debt owed by the Zimbabwean businessman.

The debt is understood to have accumulated in mortgage, credit card and vehicle financing accounts the businessman opened with Absa’s wealth unit.

Makamba, who is a top Zimbabwean businessman and close ally of former president Robert Mugabe, put up the Sandhurst property, Villa Royale, as surety.

The five-bedroom mansion, complete with wine cellar and private chef, costs R80,000 a night to rent, and has accommodated the likes of US rapper Nicki Minaj.

On the website that rents it out, Makamba says: “I am Zimbabwean by birth, but live in the United Kingdom now. However, with my many business ventures, I often find myself back in Africa and for this reason Villa Royale was created.”

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