Christo Wiese, the embattled former chairperson of scandal-hit Steinhoff, is selling two private jets.
A Dassault Falcon 900C and Boeing Business Jet are both being flogged by executive airplane dealers in London and New York. The two aircraft have been extensively refurbished, with the Falcon delivered to Wiese on November 8, 2012 and the Boeing in March last year.
Wiese confirmed to HuffPost that he is selling the two airplanes. "I am awaiting offers and will then decide whether or not I will let it go. I want to buy another plane and I don't need two," he said.
It is unclear how much they are being sold for, but a new Falcon can cost as much as $48-million [~R597-million] and a new Boeing can sell for $78-million [~R970-million]. A sales agent at The Jet Business in New York did not want to provide details of either plane, saying only genuinely interested buyers will be provided with more information than that which is in the brochure. He did, however, confirm that the planes are for sale.
Wiese, until recently the sixth-wealthiest African and third-richest South African, has apparently lost more than 80 percent of that wealth since the Steinhoff crash in December 2017. According to the Forbes rich list, however, he remains a dollar billionaire — with an estimated total fortune of $1.1-billion [~R13.7-billion] in January. Steinhoff's share price has however declined by a further 25 percent since then.
According to the aircraft registry of SA's Civil Aviation Authority (which was last updated on 1 March 2018) the Falcon is owned by Toerama (Pty) Ltd, a company with a registered address in Parow, Cape Town. Both Wiese and his son, Jacob, are indicated to be active directors of Toerama, according to a Steinhoff prospectus issued in December.
The Falcon's registration number — ZS-JCC — is thought to denote the initials of Wiese's three children, Jacob, Christina and Clare. The insignia on the tail is also exactly the same as the emblem of Lourensford Wine Estate outside Somerset-West, near Cape Town, also owned by Wiese.
The Boeing, registration VP-BBJ, also belongs to Toerama, according to flight-data-tracking company FlightAware. A German airplane website also identifies Toerama as the Boeing's owner, saying that the Bermuda-registered aircraft was extensively refurbished in Switzerland before being delivered to its new owner in March 2017. Images of the Boeing regularly feature on aeroplane-community website PlaneSpotters. According to FlightRadar the jet last flew on Monday, a return trip between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The prospectus says the Falcon can carry 14 passengers and three crew, has a range of luxury seating as well as sleeping options, a microwave and high-temperature oven, and even a Nespresso machine on board. It was repainted earlier this year.
The Boeing, which is based on the 737 model and can carry more than 150 passengers, has been fitted to provide creature comforts for 18 passengers. It has two lounges (one forward and one back), two four-seat dining tables, as well as an entertainment system. The plane also has a master bedroom in the aft section, that contains a double bed and en-suite bathroom with a shower.