“If Santa knows that you’re being bad, you’ll not get any presents on Christmas Day.”
Were any of us not subjected to that threat at some point in our childhood?
What a brilliant way to keep someone in line! Invent a myth, keep repeating it until you convince your weans that it’s true and then use it to manipulate them according to your wishes. As a child, I sometimes wondered about the logistics of this remarkable operation. We all did.
The whole world? In one night? Presents for every single well-behaved child? All carried on one sleigh? Seriously?
It seemed that something didn’t quite add up here but wherever I looked, everyone confirmed the reality of Santa. Parents, relatives, neighbours, teachers, random strangers all had their stories straight. Television programmes and adverts, grottos in department stores, pictures on billboards, songs on the radio, each provided further evidence that nobody except me had even noticed any of the inherent inconsistencies about this extraordinary person and his work.
Why don’t all the starving children in Africa ask for enough food to keep them alive?
If his elves are making all these toys themselves, how come they look exactly the same as the ones in the shops?
What’s the point of the shops trying to sell Airfix Lancaster bomber model kits or Subbuteo sets if everyone can get one for nothing?
It didn’t make sense.
On the other hand, I had a suspicion that it might be unwise to express too much scepticism. It might even cost me a train set.
By all accounts, only people who actually believed in Santa got presents from him.
It finally came to the point when I not only knew beyond reasonable doubt that Santa must be a myth; I also realised that I had been surrounded by liars for years. But no sooner had I become cognisant of the Great Deception than the liars invited me to join their conspiracy. There were younger siblings and cousins who had to remain deceived and it wouldn’t do for me to blow the whistle. I calculated that by publicly maintaining the pretence that I believed in Santa, I might be able to raise the stakes for next Christmas. It was to be a red bicycle or else.
(At this point I must apologise to any readers who hadn’t yet heard the bad news that there is no Santa. If it’s any consolation, Graham Speirs knew this three weeks ago before anyone else although he didn’t bother to write about it. In any case, in a few months time the Daily Record will claim that it was the first to break the story.)
As with the Santa myth, so with the Rangers myths. One of the recurring myths is that Rangers are a financial powerhouse, an economic engine which supplies Scottish football with huge revenues upon which almost every club is almost totally reliant. According to myth, even Celtic need Rangers.
Celtic have long since grown up and don’t believe in Rangers so they have dismissed that myth. Many other clubs, however, are holding out for a red bicycle. Some will settle for a train set. So long as they are compliant and believe in Rangers, they’ll get something for nothing in defiance of all logic.
Over the course of the last decade, the mighty Rangers economic powerhouse ran itself into the ground. If the tax authorities know anything about taxes – and it seems to me to be a reasonable starting assumption that they know quite a lot – we can go on to assume that when Rangers crashed into oblivion, the hole they were in was about £140 million deep. In truth it is even deeper.
On top of the money owed to hundreds of creditors there are previous matters to consider. In 2004, the mythical billionaire Minty Moonbeams reportedly squirted a £51.4 million pound “injection” into Rangers simmering accounts after a rights issue was formulated to reduce the club’s then £73.9 million debt. In truth, the attempt to raise capital was a catastrophic failure and Murray MHL Limited, which had underwritten the share issue, was obliged to take the hit. In effect, all that happened was that some paperwork was signed so that a £50 million debt to HBOS was shifted sideways from one basket case Murray business in Ibrox to another, even worse one in Edinburgh.
The debt was never paid back before HBOS croaked. It was subsequently picked up by the tax-payer as part of Gordon Brown’s £37 billion rescue package to maintain the lifestyles of corrupt, fraudulent banksters and their cronies. We’re now getting close to £200 million of Rangers damage to other parties. But say nothing. There might be a red bicycle in it for you.
Meanwhile, despite running up the longest series of consecutive 0-3 defeats in the history of football, Rangers were awarded the championship titles on five occasions during this period, thus enabling the SPL to divert millions of pounds of prize money away from the rightful league winners and into the colossal overdraft of the mythical economic powerhouse. The SFA, hoping for a red bicycle, duly notified UEFA that Rangers would represent Scotland in the Champions league in the following season. Tens of millions of pounds worth of prize money would never reach the club which had really earned that place by playing the game according to the rules.
Five seasons of SPL and Champions League prize money take the damage up to the quarter of a billion pound mark. Yet the economic powerhouse still went bust.
There have been other substantial cash investments from dubious sources. Dave King still faces hundreds of charges of fraud, tax evasion and money-laundering in South Africa on an industrial scale. At the last count, I made it 322 charges in all. The money laundering activities relate to drugs-running operations, illegal arms deals, child pornography and a host of other unwholesome activities. Fortunately for Rangers, £25 million of the proceeds of those disgusting enterprises found its way into Dick Advocat’s warchest. Red bicycles for everyone who sees no connection.
In 1992, Joe Lewis made his fortune by launching an all out attack on the UK’s currency reserves which cost the nation a minimum of £3.4 billion pounds on Black Wednesday. To balance up the damage done to the economy, Lewis dribbled £40 million into Ibrox economic powerhouse. Red bicycles for everyone who believes forty million pounds minus three point four billion pounds equals a positive balance. No need to show your working; just believe.
And on and on and on.
Just over a year ago, Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police Stephen House was so convinced by the magnitude of Rangers’ contribution to society that he dominated the news headlines for days with his calls for ‘Old Firm’ games to be played behind closed doors or even banned altogether. Police Federation Spokesman, Les Gray, repeatedly rammed home a similar message that the country could no longer afford to bear the financial cost to the police, A&E, ambulance services and so on.
Ignore all that and collect your red bicycle on Christmas Day.
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A slight digression:
There are different methods which can be employed to control a system. Those who want to direct the behaviour of others have a number of options which range from reasoned, enlightened consensus to brutal, violent oppression. In practice, most systems are operated along the lines of one of the other options in between these extremes. The best and most efficient way for human beings to prosper together is within a co-operative, consensual group which is founded on mutual trust and respect. This has been demonstrated and proved in countless studies yet the notion is regularly undermined and dismissed.
It’s important to recognise that this co-operative model struggles to gain acceptance purely because we live in a society that is dominated by a Psychopathic Control Grid (PCG). The PCG embraces government, banking and financial systems, the military, corporate industry, the media, the advertising industry and the education system. It is utterly dependent upon its ability to control, manipulate and exploit the rest of us. To this end, it creates myths which require us to suspend out critical faculties in order to accept them.
It is clearly not in the self-interest of the type of parasites who hold positions of power within the Psychopathic Control Grid to encourage us to believe that we don’t need them. They prefer to promulgate myths such as the Survival Of The Fittest, create unnecessary confrontations and frighten us with imaginary threats from which they will “protect” us by restricting our options. The fact still remains that we are all better off when we are co-operating with each other instead of allowing ourselves to be exploited by abusers. But a smokescreen of misinformation and distortion of the true picture creates uncertainty and confusion. The Roman occupation can continue indefinitely for as long as the People’s Front of Judea argue with the Judean People’s Front, the Judean Popular People’s Front, the Campaign for a Free Galilee, and the Popular Front of Judea.
A fundamental, practical weakness of a tyrannical approach, backed by brute force, is that it is hopelessly inefficient. The overwhelming majority of those involved in such a system understand that they are being mercilessly exploited but even those who expect to emerge as winners ultimately find that their own position is insecure and constantly under threat. They are constantly running up the down escalator just to maintain position and know that will be swept back to the bottom if they ever ease up. Nevertheless, this inhuman Babylonian model is still the one which comes most naturally to a psychopath. It’s in widespread use, whether in the context of an abusive family unit, a Mafia-style organisation or an entire Police State.
In the most successful and more sophisticated variations of the model, people’s sense of their own worth is chronically undermined by a relentless tide of psychological assaults designed to rob them of confidence, security and perception. This approach reduces the need for the controllers to resort to outright physical oppression. Words themselves lose their meaning; a peace-keeping force consists almost entirely of trained warriors who are armed to the teeth; austerity measures require tens of millions of pounds to be paid to the people who collapsed the economy; rebels and insurgents are people who are trying to kick occupying forces from distant continents out of their homelands; and sporting integrity is a system whereby the biggest cheats in the history of British football are effectively given a guarantee that they will win their next league campaign, even if the rule book has to be scrapped to make it happen. There is such an overwhelming, never-ending bombardment of lies, deceits and affronts to decency that it becomes harder and harder for anyone to stand up confidently, point to the truth and say, “There it is!”
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Regardless of all that, here is the truth.
The SFL and SFA, amongst others, have dedicated themselves to the perpetuation of the Rangers Myth.
They worship at the shrine of a fake god which they have created themselves. They warn of dire consequences if puny mortals fail to venerate this mighty deity. They sacrifice honour, justice and honesty at the altar of their idol. They glorify their god through acts of bare-faced hypocrisy, blatant match-fixing and stinking corruption.
For red bicycles and Santa, read SPL money and television.
For Rudolf defying the laws of aerodynamics, read Rangers defying the fundamentals of economics.
Just as Santa could only complete his night’s work by travelling faster than the speed of light, contrary to every principle of physics, so Zombie Huns can only compete in Scottish football if every inconvenient rule is deliberately broken and every sporting principle is ignored.
To those who staunchly, defiantly believe in Rangers, despite all the evidence, this is as straightforward as believing in Santa Claus.
They just have to ignore the overwhelming proofs that what they want to believe cannot possibly be true. They’ll see one club recklessly spending everyone else’s money and they’ll call it generating revenue. They’ll see tax evasion, fraud and cheating but they’ll call it financial might, vision and dignity. They must wilfully ignore that even when the now-defunct club was at its most successful it still sucked far more money out of society than it put in.
They are determined to perpetuate the myth of Rangers for the sake of a red bicycle.
But the facts are laid bare for all to see. Zombie Huns, and Rangers before them, are no more a linchpin of a successful, solvent, sustainable Scottish football set-up than a letter to Santa is a solution to the banking crisis.
One super-rich individual who has been high on the South African Revenue Service’s (SARS’) hit-list for years is multi-millionaire David Cunningham King (usually known as Dave King), a policeman’s son from Glasgow who moved to South Africa in the mid-1970s after becoming an accountant. He retains his Scottish connections, not least through a non-executive directorship of Rangers Football Club plc and the £20m he invested in the Club in 2000.
According to the Club’s 2009 annual report, he also held more than three million shares in the related company Murray Sports Limited, ‘as an authorised representative of Metlika Trading Ltd’, a company in the British Virgin Islands.
In one of the many twists in King’s battle with SARS, it would appear that his mother Agnes now owns the shares in Murray Sports Ltd, thought to be worth some £1.5m. UK newspapers Dave King, Rangers football club, and the South African Revenue Service reported late last year that the shares had been transferred in what SARS saw as a bid to avoid tax.
King and SARS have made no secret of their mutual contempt. At a media briefing in 2008, King said SARS had made serious mistakes and wasted huge sums while investigating his affairs, and had failed to honour agreements that had been reached.
SARS immediately hit back, revealing it had been pursuing him through the South African courts for eight years and that he faced charges which, if convicted, could see him jailed for 15 years.
‘This is the reason for his constant filibustering,’ it stated in a press release.
‘The 322 charges include fraud, money laundering, racketeering and tax evasion for the period 1990 to 2001 (and for non-rendition of tax returns for 2002-2005),’ SARS alleged.
Attached to the press release was a document which SARS alleged was a fraud signed by King, purporting to be a Rand300m (£26.7m) settlement agreement he had reached with them.
The SARS case against King is ongoing.
He continues to maintain his innocence.
Dave King and Ally McCoist meet Rangers’ administrators: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17132094
Rangers have confirmed that South Africa-based businessman Dave King has had a meeting with the Scottish champions’ administrators.
Team manager Ally McCoist also held talks with Duff and Phelps.
But Rangers stress that King’s meeting was in connection with his duties as a director of the Glasgow club.
King has previously been involved in takeover talks with the club, who were forced into administration following action from HMRC over a £9m tax bill.
The news of King’s talks with the administrator emerged after he and McCoist were filmed leaving Ibrox in the same car.
King, who invested £20m in the club in 2000 and is the second-largest shareholder at the club, said he was put off by the demands of Lloyds Banking Group when considering his own takeover before Sir David Murray sold his shares to Whyte for £1.
King, who himself has been hit with a £250m bill after he lost a 10-year battle with the taxman in South Africa, was reported to be on the verge of being removed from his position by Whyte just before the club appointed the administrators.
However, he remains on the board as a non-executive director.
Rangers director Dave King has been hit with a £250million bill after he lost a 10-year battle with the taxman.
A company run by the Scot have dropped their appeal against a South African court which branded King, a “shameless liar” and ruled the firm were liable for the huge unpaid sum.
Now proceedings are under way to collect the vast debt – and the 55-year-old tycoon is still at risk of being jailed for fraud.
In 2006, South African prosecutors won court orders freezing assets including three million shares in Murray Sports – who owned a third of Rangers – and a house where King’s mother lives.
An appeal against the bulk of the tax debt was dismissed last October. In a devastating judgment, the court said King “has no respect for the truth and does not hesitate to lie … if he thinks it will be to his advantage.
“He is a mendacious witness whose evidence should not be accepted on any issue unless it is supported by objective evidence.
“In our assessment he is a glib and shameless liar.”
On Friday, a hearing in Pretoria was told a further legal challenge by Ben Nevis had now been dropped. A SARS spokesman said: “This development means that certain facts are now uncontested and it entitles us to move on to the next stage, which is to claim the amount which is outstanding.”
King also faces more than 300 criminal charges including fraud, money-laundering and racketeering.
Rangers: Taxing times for ‘saviour’
Saturday 31 October 2009
A YEAR ago, almost to the day, Dave King called a press conference at a posh Johannesburg country club and promised to lift the lid on those investigating him for tax avoidance. This session, he said, would be gloves-off and no-holds-barred. He was going to blast his accusers at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) right out of the water with proof of hypocrisy and cataclysmic errors.
He said he was being bullied and likened them to a terrorist organisation. He was a wronged man and he was going to prove it.
King delivered on his promise and dynamited SARS. And then the government responded. SARS issued a statement of eye-watering intensity, levelling a bewildering series of counter-allegations. They accused him of fabricating and distorting facts. They said he was desperate because the authorities were closing in on him. They said he was not the victim he portrayed himself to be, rather a man who lied and lied about his tax affairs.
And that was just for starters.
“He attempts to erode the culture of growing tax compliance in South Africa,” said the statement.
Also: “He has acted fraudulently, evaded tax and lied about his income and profits generated since 1990.”
Next: “He faces a variety of very serious criminal charges. If convicted he could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of no less than 15 years.”
And then: “This is the reason for his constant filibustering. The 322 charges include fraud, money laundering, racketeering and tax evasion for period 1990 to 2001 (and for non-rendition of tax returns for 2002 to 2005].”
And if that wasn’t enough: “Additional charges of fraud, forgery and/or corruption have been registered and are being investigated against King.”
He faces a bill of over 900m rand in personal tax and 1.4bn rand in business tax. Lumped together, it equates to more than 180m. SARS have a dossier on him numbering 200,000 pages and say they have up to100 witnesses for the prosecution. It is a story that has been rumbling for eight years. It has become an epic battle, the most bitter and, financially, the largest tax stand-off in the history of South Africa. It is not just about the money, it’s personal. SARS and King have made it so.
Last week, a source close to SARS told us that there is an icy determination to see this through. They also described as laughable the notion that King might stump up the millions required to take Rangers off Sir David Murray’s hands. They say that it is not true that the government has seized King’s passport, but it is true that they have frozen some of his assets. “If Mr King comes out now and suddenly produces tens of millions of pounds to buy a football club then SARS are going to be wondering where that money came from,” said a source. “I can’t see him doing it. It’s just not going to happen.”
Little of this has been reported in Scotland. Sure, there have been things written about the 322 charges against him but the scale of the case against King has been played down and instead he has been depicted as a potential Rangers Messiah.
The boy’s own story has been trotted out. He’s the son of a policeman who left for South Africa 30 years ago with just a few quid in his pocket. He’s the Rangers supporter made good. Made very good, in fact. His business prowess brought him a fortune and a lifestyle that befitted one of South Africa’s wealthiest people. He lives in the elite Sandhurst suburb of Johannesburg. He bought three houses there, razed them to the ground and then put a 7m mansion on the site. Outside the door is his Ferrari and other expensive vehicles. His wealth is estimated at 300m.
A chunk of that wealth can be traced back to a windfall he made on a company called Specialised Outsourcing. In 1997, he sold his shareholding for 1.2bn rand, more than 110m. In 2000, an elderly SARS investigator called Charles Chipps was reading an article on King when he noticed a picture of the Glaswegian, taken at his plush Sandhurst home. Chipps spotted a painting by Irma Stern, the internationally recognised South African painter. The Stern painting, Chipps discovered, had been bought by King at auction for a record 1.76m rand or about 130,000. Chipps wondered how King could afford it given that he’d been claiming that his annual income was a fraction of what he’d given for the piece of art. In fact, King had applied to be deregistered for tax, such was the trifling amount he claimed he was earning.
King was arrested in 2002 and soon he had 322 charges against his name. The Scot has stated that, yes, he does owe some tax and he’s put a figure on it of just over 3m. He says he has offered to settle but that his approaches have been rebuked. SARS, he has said, are conducting a witch hunt against him.
It has to be said that SARS are not exactly water-tight in their prosecution of such cases. There is a list of high fliers in the business world in South Africa who have come in for similar treatment – but arguably not as aggressive – as King has and some of the cases against some of these people just could not be proven. In May last year, SARS took a case to trial and lost it and in the summing-up the judge was heavily critical of their shoddy investigation.
King claims that their work in investigating his affairs is every bit as slapdash.
The hostility between SARS and King cranked up a level a year ago when the revenue service brought a new charge against him for allegedly attempting to bribe one of its committee members, a man called Leonard Radebe. “Our claim,” said SARS spokesman, Adrian Lackay, ” is that King submitted a fraudulent document to court, and tried to corrupt one of our general managers.”
The allegation is that King was willing to pay Radebe more than 1m to bring an end to the dispute. King’s version is altogether different. He claims that Radebe approached him on behalf of SARS and that an offer was made of a full and final settlement in the region of 25m. If King handed over the money, all charges would be dropped. When Radebe’s actions were discovered, he was suspended.
King says that he thought Radebe was a credible representative of SARS, that he checked him out and believed him to be in a position of power to offer such a deal. The Scot was convinced that Radebe had a mandate to act. SARS counter that all the documentation was faked and there was corruption afoot. “It defies logic that I’d fight this for eight years and then resort to petty bribery,” said King, later.
SARS have had to go to the supreme court of appeal seven times since 2002 to fight King. “We have to follow the legal process to the letter,” says Lackay. “This is the unique case of a very wealthy taxpayer who is able to frustrate this. But we have to apply the law equally to everyone.”
Judgment is pending on one of the cases against King, but trying to predict when all of this will finally be settled is an impossible business. King is convinced that he is being picked on and refuses to bow down in front of the authorities. SARS say that he amassed a fortune without adhering to the same tax rules as everybody else in South Africa. Neither of them look like they are going to back down, so a battle that has raged for many years already looks set to continue.
And Rangers? Those at Ibrox would be better off looking elsewhere for a great redeemer. It would appear that King has his hands full elsewhere.
Dave King And I — Tax rebel’s astonishing financial come-back
4th November 2013
There cannot be many people in South Africa who are not aware of Dave King’s extraordinary 13 year-long fight with the South African Revenue Services (Sars) over a tax assessment in excess of R3.2 billion.
Tax disputes do not normally make the front pages of Sunday newspapers, but when the numbers are so high and the fast-moving events so incredible that it could come straight out of the pages of a John Grisham or Dan Brown novel, it becomes a national talking point.
And even after this thirteen-year battle, costing hundreds of millions of rands in legal fees, the attempted confiscation of King’s assets and court dramas all around the globe, one is still left with a sense of dissatisfaction, a kind of anti-climax as to whether King was guilty or not. The legal issue of revenue versus capital will not be dissected and delivered on by the highest court in the land.
There was a lot of legal foreplay, an enormous amount of huffing and puffing on both sides but in the end the settlement reached between King and Sars in August this year – in terms of which King has paid Sars about R700m in outstanding taxes to settle all claims against him and his various family trusts – meant he could carry on with his life and his business career.
So who actually came out on top in this extraordinary battle?
Sars initially wanted R3.2 billion; it got R700 million. King remained steadfast that what he did was perfectly legal as the R1 billion or so profits he and his various family trusts made out of the sale of shares in Specialised Outsourcing during the 1997/98 stock market boom was well within his rights. He also maintains that the profits were not of a revenue nature but one of a capital nature.
Many others, including some of the finest tax brains in this country, agree with this.
If King was eventually found wanting by a court on this issue, it could possibly have been like a proverbial nuclear bomb for hundreds, if not thousands of wealthy estates who hold most if not all of their wealth in trusts, both locally and offshore.
All these tax shelters, meticulously crafted and protected over many years and generations could have been blown wide open to scrutiny by Sars. There must have been a collective sigh of relief amongst SA’s truly wealthy that the issue of revenue versus capital did not end up for deliberation in the highest court in the land.
So for the time being, the legal status quo remains.
Arriving in South Africa
I witnessed first-hand how Dave King, who arrived in SA with very little money from his native Scotland in 1976, first came up with the idea of starting Specialised Outsourcing (SO) in 1993/94.
This was during one of several rounds of golf we enjoyed together with his lovely wife Ladina on the lush fairways of the Dainfern Country Club where we both were members in those days. I don’t play golf much any more and Dave now does his golfing at esteemed courses such as River Club in Sandton and Augusta in the USA. See what a billion or two does to your social acceptability levels?
But I digress. Dave mentioned several times his idea and even at one stage invited me to join this new company of his. In a nutshell, SO was set up to handle the treasury functions on behalf of government and parastatals. These bodies, King always would say, were so bad at handling the billions that were sloshing around in their accounts, that he offered to manage these funds in exchange for a percentage of the profits. And it turned out to be a great success story and SO soon became the darling amongst mainly small-cap fund managers in the country.
So it was with a great deal of interest that I watched from afar how he went ahead, set up the company and eventually listed Specialised Outsourcing in 1995 at a price of, if my memory serves me, R1.20 a share. The share price of SO eventually peaked at R80 a share before it came crashing down in 1998/99 when the market got wind of the fact that King had sold most of his shares.
Irma Stern painting
King’s problems really started, I was told first hand, when he bought an Irma Stern painting at an auction for R1.7 million in 2000.
This was the first time that a Stern painting achieved a price of more than R1 million and this fact obviously caught the attention of the media, and ultimately also that of nuggety Mr Charles Chipps, a special investigator at Sars who, quite simply, read about the Stern-sale in a newspaper and decided to check up on the tax status of the buyer. To his astonishment he found that King declared a taxable income of a mere R60 000.
And thus was born what is today known as the King-versus-Sars battle which has raged for more than 13 years, on several continents costing, as I indicated earlier, hundreds of millions of rands in legal fees on both sides.
I understand that the legal fraternity in the Sandton area declared a national week of mourning when the final agreements were signed and accepted by the various parties to this extraordinary battle.
I say first hand, as I heard it from Charles Chipps himself who, at about the same time, was sniffing around my own tax affairs. Nought came of this investigation but it was done on the basis of rumours of untold wealth hidden away in some secret location.
This taught me two things about the tax man. Don’t flaunt your wealth in a conspicuous manner and second, don’t be surprised if your best pal/ex-wife/ex-girlfriend makes Sars their first port of call. “Jealous people,” Chipps told me, “are often the best source of information for the tax man”.
Chipps passed away a year or so ago and was therefore not around to collect his commission cheque from Sars for his hard work and diligence.
One of the reasons for settling with Sars and paying the R700 million fine was, as King said at the time, in order to move on with his life and to get stuck into more productive things, like building up the JSE-listed company MICROmega (MMG), of which he still is chairman and major shareholder.
So it is again with more than a passing interest that I have been following the performance of MICROmega on the JSE this year, especially since the settlement in August.
In July this year the share was still trading at R2 a share with very few trades. The news of the settlement set this share price free and since then it has rocketed by almost 500%, at one stage reaching almost R20 per share but trading at around R12.30 this week.
Profit of R860 million
Now here comes the most astonishing fact. King, via his family trusts owns about 83 million shares in MMG, which means King has made a gain of R830 million in three months, all due to the almost vertical increase in the share price of MMG.
On paper therefore King has made back all of the money he handed over to Sars earlier this year –and more.
“There is a difference between R700m in cash and a paper profit,” King noted wryly this week, “ but it does feel good,” he said when I made contact to check these facts – he at least still taking my calls. As I put the phone down to end the call, I realised there was still one question that remains unanswered.
Who today owns the Stern painting in question? Dave King or Sars?
Whoever owns it has the most expensive painting ever by a South African artist hanging somewhere on a wall.
*Magnus Heystek is investment director at Brenthurst Wealth. Contact him for ideas and suggestions at magnus @heystek.co.za
DAVE KING has been ruthlessly axed as a Rangers director for daring to question Craig Whyte’s regime.
South-African based King was told by e-mail late on Friday afternoon he had been kicked off the beleaguered club’s board.
Record Sport believes the latest boardroom change will be announced on the Plus Market today with Ibrox sources insisting King’s dismissal is punishment for objecting to Whyte’s dealings.
Rangers fans will be shocked by this latest departure as many of them saw King as the man who would save their club.
King was alarmed when we revealed the new owner had mortgaged four years of season tickets to raise £24.4million.
The deal with Ticketus was done without the previous board’s knowledge and although Whyte later said he’d been left with a £7m bill from Ticketus, he was quickly slapped down by the man who sold him the club last May.
Sir David Murray firmly denied Whyte had been left to pick up a Ticketus tab.
King was the last link between Whyte’s board and the old guard but he has been dumped just as chairman Alastair Johnston, chief executive Martin Bain, financial director Donald McIntyre and Paul Murray were after the takeover.
RANGERS director Dave King’s seized South African vineyard sold at auction yesterday for a bargain £4.75million.
Tycoon Wendy Appelbaum snapped up 194-hectare Qu foroin Rock after it was valued at £10milllion.
The stunning estate in Stellenbosch, whose wine is endorsed by golf legend Gary Player, was taken by the South African authorities in July to help pay 56-year-old King’s £250million tax bill.
A source said: “Wendy has got herself an absolute bargain and was clearly delighted.”
“I imagine King feels sick. This only makes a small dent in what he owes the taxman.”
Appelbaum, 50, is the daughter of billionaire philanthropist Sir Donald Gordon, 81, whose vast empire includes Braehead shopping centre, near Glasgow.
Policeman’s son King, from Castlemilk, Glasgow, was beaten by Craig Whyte in his bid to buy Rangers.
King is the last survivor of the old Ibrox board since Sir David Murray sold the club to Whyte, 40, for £1 in May. He still owns five per cent of Rangers.
Two years ago, we revealed he had put his three million shares in the name of his elderly mum in Alexandria, Dunbartonshire.