His dream home – a four-level, eight-bedroom house in Cape Town with an elevator – may be reduced to rubble.

That is if the civic association of the wealthy seaside suburb of Llandudno gets its way.

Residents are fed up with the incomplete mansion, which they say attracts vagrants and is devaluing the neighbourhood. Now they have given the City of Cape Town an ultimatum: bulldoze the house or face court action.

An exposé by the Sunday Times in 2004 revealed how Kuruneri bought two homes in the city for close to R10-million cash while many Zimbabweans could not afford a loaf of bread.

In Llandudno, he bought a house in Apostle Road for R5.7-million and spent R1-million more on renovations. Then he bought a second home for R2.7-million in Sunset Road, demolished it and started building a lavish mansion.

Building ceased after his spending spree was exposed and he was arrested for allegedly violating exchange control regulations.

"He went from living in an excellent luxurious state to sleeping on floors. It was very hard," said his lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, during his 2007 trial.

Kuruneri said the cash was earned abroad for legitimate "consultancy work". The courts agreed and he was acquitted.

Despite his acquittal, the Sunset Road mansion stands untouched and Kuruneri is now practising law in Harare.

"He is also an economist and has a doctorate," said Samkange this week.

Chris Hayman, Kuruneri’s construction project manager, said: "Dr Kuruneri has informed the council, through myself, that at this point he is not prepared to put more funds into South Africa because of the way he was treated last time. He will be selling his asset, which is the Apostle Road home. He has been trying to do so for the past six months to a year to fund the completion of the Sunset Road home."

But due to the recession, Hayman said, it was difficult to sell the property.

Estate agent Shaun Kramer confirmed that he met with Kuruneri in Cape Town in 2008 to discuss the sale.

"It was a brief, professional meeting and he conducted himself in a very gentlemanly manner," was all Kramer would say.

Kuruneri wants R14.5-million for the house, which has four en suite bedrooms, a study, central air conditioning, a utility room and a two-bedroom domestic’s quarters.

Llandudno Civic Association lawyer Andy McPherson is convinced that the matter will end up in court because the city failed to take action against Kuruneri for years.

McPherson wrote to the city on November 4 saying, unless the building was demolished, residents would ask the High Court to intervene and order the city to do so.

Rodney Cronwright, from the civic association, said residents had complained about vagrants at the house and crime, and had raised health and safety concerns.

"I don’t know the actual amount of the legal fees, but residents have had to put up with a lot of inconvenience and they are prepared to put their hands in their pockets," said Cronwright. Sunday Times

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