The drama surrounding the promoter of Celine Dion’s January tour of South Africa and the canceled Josh Groban March tour is showing no signs of dying down.
News reports claim that promoter Duncan Heafield, head of Kusasa Entertainment, was arrested on fraud charges in the coastal city of Durban on April 14.
Heafield was moved to the Sandton Police Station in Johannesburg on April 16 and is expected to be formally charged in the Randburg Magistrate’s court today.
Although details of the charges have yet to emerge, they reportedly relate to a deal Heafield struck with Solly Krok, an entrepreneur who recently hit the headlines in Australia when members of his family bought the most expensive home sold in that country — a waterfront Sydney mansion costing A$29.3 million ($27.4 million).
Other reports contend that Heafield was arrested in Durban by the commercial crime unit of the police in connection with a complaint that he had misrepresented himself to a Durban company, earning close to R1-million ($128,000) from that deal.
Heafield could not be reached for comment.
Groban last month pulled the plug on his South African visit, blaming Heafield’s failure to “perform his obligations with regard to the tour”. Dion’s 10-date outing also left a trail of dissatisfied fans. Operational problems meant audiences at the singer’s two Cape Town Shows endured lengthy delays in accessing the site at the Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West.
In another development, the ticketing company responsible for selling tickets for both the Dion and Groban tours has been liquidated. Ticket Connection partnered with retail clothing chain Mr. Price on both shows. The latter has offered customers who bought Groban tickets from their outlets a reimbursement, whilst leaving those who bought online from Ticket Connection to seek a refund from the now liquidated company.
Heafield told a Johannesburg news station that his arrest was nothing more than a vendetta against him by another concert promoter.