A happy and extravagant New Year

UK singer Cheryl Cole caused a buzz at tycoon Preston Haskell's New Year bash in Cape Town last year when she was spotted in public for the first time with squeeze Derek Hough


SPLURGING millions on his New Year's Eve bash is nothing new for US billionaire Preston Haskell, who will again host the most exclusive party to ring in 2012 at his Fresnaye mansion in Cape Town.

Haskell has in the past hosted royals and A-list celebrities such as Princess Caroline of Monaco and her brother, Prince Albert, and Madonna and Elton John were also rumoured to have flown in to attend.

Last year his party made world headlines - it was the first time UK popstar Cheryl Cole was spotted in public with her then-boyfriend, Derek Hough.

So how will he top it this time round? Rumours have it that the property and mining magnate will fork out R12-million for a 1920s-style "Casino Haskell" theme.

Those lucky enough to get invited to the party - so sought after that organiser Sarah Cort is often offered thousands of rands for a ticket - have been promised an entertainment extravaganza with DJs from St Tropez and Greece.

Cape Town will also host the New Year's Eve Music Festival rave at the Cape Town International Convention Centre as well as a bash at the city's newest club, Bungalow . It opened last week and is owned by Chris Coutroulis, the owner of Sandton nightclub Taboo and husband of former Miss South Africa Vanessa Carreira.

Johannesburg nightclub owner Kenny Kunene has promised "fireworks" at his club, ZAR.

Kunene said he would have a display of "never-seen-before fireworks", whereas nearby Taboo will host its annual snow party.

East of Johannesburg, DJs Fresh and Euphonik will be at Nicci Beach at Wild Waters in Boksburg, where they will be joined by 25 other DJs on five dance floors.

In KwaZulu-Natal, a flood of international tourists and local holidaymakers booked suites, villas and grand ballrooms at some of Durban's five-star hotels and resorts.

Wayne Coetzee, general manager of the Oyster Box Hotel, said all three ballrooms - the Grillroom, Ocean Terrace and Pearl Room - were fully booked. Guests will fork out R1200 to eat fine food and have a good party.

Guests attending the New Year's Eve party at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, have splashed out R1100 each for a feast of seafood and live entertainment at the "Miami White" party. - Additional reporting by Sunday Times reporters

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