By Mduduzi Mathuthu
Zimbabwean property tycoon Frank Buyanga has cheated death after crashing his $230,000 Ferrari 458 Italia in Cape Town.
The millionaire playboy extensively damaged the front end of his expensive motor in wet weather after failing to negotiate Cape Town’s famous Hospital Bend shortly after 6AM on Thursday.
The 34-year-old Buyanga, reputed to be one of Zimbabwe’s richest people with a personal fortune of over US$20 million, walked away from the wrecked red Ferrari unhurt.
On the same day that Buyanga trashed his motor, the Cape Argus newspaper said “unseasonably heavy rain began to fall, lifting several weeks’ worth of rubber, oil and diesel fuel out of the tar and leaving the city’s roads treacherously slick”.
Buyanga told NewZimbabwe.com by telephone from South Africa that he was “fine and resting”, refusing to go into detail about his unscheduled visit to the steel barriers.
England-born Buyanga made his millions selling properties in Europe and Africa, driven by his mentor – the controversial property tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten.
Dubbed a “loan shark” by Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Buyanga exiled himself from Zimbabwe after powerful Zanu PF figures who owed his Hamilton Finance hundreds of thousands of dollars pressured police to arrest him on alleged fraud charges.
Buyanga – who counts South African President Jacob Zuma, former Malawian President Bakili Muluzi and Equatorial Guinea strongman Obiang Nguema among his friends – insists he is a legitimate businessman and is fighting the charges in court.
The loss of the Ferrari will hardly make a dent on Buyanga’s lifestyle. His garage includes nearly a dozen super cars including a Rolls Royce, a Bentley Continental, a BMW X5 and a Mercedes ML. New Zimbabwe.com