Metro FM presenter Lerato Kganyago has allegedly been caught in a lie after sources told City Press that she was not the real owner of the luxury boutique hotel she had unveiled on Valentine’s Day.
The hotel, called 12 on Hillel Villa and Spa in Northcliff, Johannesburg, is allegedly owned by Kganyago’s husband, Thami Ndlala, and two other businesspeople who are said to be silent partners.
However, a company search shows that 12 on Hillel Villa and Spa has one director, listed as Njabulo Goodwill Ndlala. The establishment was registered on May 13 last year, a year before the DJ announced herself as its new owner.
Sources close to the star have revealed that the posh venue, which opened its doors in February, was not her Valentine’s Day gift from Ndlala, as reported in the media. Kganyago is said to only be the face of the hotel.
One source said:
That Valentine’s Day gift noise that she made was just a publicity stunt. Thami did not buy her that hotel. She just featured as a face and used the opportunity because her fans were looking forward to her gift for this year since Thami booked out a stadium for her last year.
The hotel, which has been open for bookings since March, charges a whopping R50 000 a night for its penthouse suite, which accommodates up to four people. The standard rooms cost R5 000 a night.
Another source said the hotel was co-owned by two other prominent Johannesburg businesspeople.
The source claimed:
The hotel is owned by Thami, Tshepo and Ndu. We spend most of our weekends there because my boyfriend is very close to Thami. We might be there this weekend again.
When contacted for comment, Ndlala said he did not know anything about two other business partners.
I don’t know anyone by the names of Ndu and Tshepo. As you are aware, we were celebrating Valentine’s Day and the hotel was a present to my wife, and she shared on her Instagram about the hotel. So Lerato is the owner of the hotel. I don’t have any Tshepo or any Ndu that I know.
An irritated Kganyago did not respond to specific questions sent to her.
“I don’t know if you are new or you don’t know me. Please don’t ever dial my number to talk about gossip. Let’s just respect each other. I would rather you run with whatever you have,” she said when contacted.
The hotel had a soft launch on Friday, with guests such as model and influencer Sarah Langa in attendance. It will host another launch next month.
Kganyago became the envy of many when she posted on social media on February 14 that she was the new owner of the luxury venue after her husband surprised her with it as a gift. The Midday LinkUp host uploaded videos of herself walking, blindfolded, into the swanky pad.
— Sam (@Iam_MrSam) February 14, 2022
“Ladies and gents, I introduce to you my new baby, @12onHillel. Naming the restaurant Amor, meaning Lerato, Thando, Love. You’re all welcome.”
In another post, she said:
I am officially part of the hospitality industry, please support my business. You’re all welcome and we’re hiring.
Congratulatory messages flooded her timeline, with the DJ’s fans singing Ndlala’s praises for buying her the hotel.
Ndlala was also called the king of Valentine’s Day on social media after he pulled out all the stops last year to gift his wife a private dinner date at the 94 000-seater FNB Stadium in Nasrec, complete with a private performance by award-winning musician Zonke Dikana.
On its website, 12 on Hillel Villa and Spa is described as being “perched high against the eastern mountainside of Northcliff Hill”, offering “luxury accommodation in a tranquil setting in an upmarket area, but accessible to the rest of the city”.
The hotel offers a restaurant on the premises, a swimming pool, lounge areas and a spa for guests.