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‘Shrine to a porn star’ sells for R99m

2015-07-05 15:00

Enigma House – one of the country’s most opulent properties, which comes with a manicured “French meadow” – has finally been sold in a near-R100 million private transaction.

After being on the market for almost four years, the exclusive deal was sealed last month.

Two well-placed sources told City Press the palatial three-storey home was snapped up by Swiss tycoon and philanthropist Rolf Theiler and his South African wife, Gloria, the sister of local fashion designer Errol Arendz.

The jet-setting couple, who wed in Franschhoek in 2005 and whose guests included former president FW de Klerk and his wife, Elita, are based in Zurich, Switzerland. Their international property portfolio includes Chalet Eugenia in the Alpine town of Klosters, frequented by the British Royal family. They also have a villa in the Cape Town suburb of Fresnaye that was recently featured on Top Billing.

“They’ve been hopping between Cape Town and Zurich,” a source told City Press. “They will probably sell the Fresnaye place now.”

Theiler is the president of the Laureus Foundation Switzerland, which runs 140 charities in 46 countries.

Gloria helped her famous brother, Errol, build his fashion empire. They had a nasty fallout in 2007 that ended in the Western Cape High Court.

Enigma House sprawls over 7 000m² of pine forest overlooking Camps Bay on the foothills of Table Mountain. Four houses were demolished to make way for the estate built by its former owner, the German businessman Francis Schnetzler.

The library offers views of the tropical pond outside

Schnetzler’s Czech wife, Veronika Schnetzlerova, is a former porn star and the house was a shrine to her past, with several naked portraits and murals in the lobby, the main bedroom and around the pool.

Schnetzler took City Press on a tour of the house last year, and showed off the “cinema room” decked out in burgundy velvet wallpaper and adorned with frescoes of women in various stages of undress.

An adjoining massage room had three light settings: “romance, sexy and nightlife”.

Enigma House was completed in 2011 and put on the market for R300 million, after which the price dropped to R179 million, then R99 million.

The Schnetzlers and their twin baby girls have moved to the Spanish Island of Ibiza.

Outside quarters, near a tropical pond and a stretch of grass manicured to resemble a ‘French meadow’ 

Brendan Miller, CEO of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s on the Atlantic seaboard, says the property’s price tag was realistic, saying it was a “unique and exceptional property, and will be an incredible home for a discerning owner”.

It is not clear to what extent the new owners will alter the mansion.

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November 18 2018