Goods worth R10 million seized from Hammanskraal supermarket owner
- Staff Writer: Zelda Venter
He claims the lawyer arrived at his shop earlier this month and with the help of a group of men removed his entire stock and fixtures, including tills, as well as cash.
Muhammad Hameed estimated the value of the goods exceed more than R10 million.
Hameed said in papers before the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, that Phetogo Molati and the men with her drove the stock and shop fittings away in trucks to an undisclosed location.
“The suspect and various other people threatened me and my brother Rana Shahid Hameed at gunpoint and forcefully removed all the property ”
He said they locked the premises when they left. According to him, they did not have a court order or any authorisation to take his property.
“I also repeatedly pleaded with the police to interfere and prevent the people from taking the property, but they refused to assist us,” he stated.
Hameed said the “robbery” at his Majeneng Supermarket (a franchise of Save Rite) and the adjacent Club Ten liquor store lasted over a few days. He said he helplessly had to watch how everything was driven away in several trucks, while the police allegedly did nothing to prevent it.
He turned to the court on January 15 to ask that his belongings be returned to him.
Judge John Holland-Muter ordered that Molati had to immediately divulge to Hameed’s attorney where the property was. She was also ordered to immediately return it as well as the money.
The judge ordered that if she refused to comply with the order, the sheriff had to, with the help of the police, remove the goods from the premises where they were kept and return them. In addition, the judge ordered that this matter had to be brought to the attention of the Legal Practice Council as well as the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Molati, in response to the allegations, said she should not have been cited in this matter in her personal capacity, as she was simply at the premises as an administrator and liquidator assisting the executor of the estate of Hameed’s deceased “business partner”.
Lindiwe Langa died in 2016 and according to Hameed’s affidavit, she worked at his supermarket as a cleaner. According to him they planned to go into business together, but this never happened.
He said two years later Molati Attorneys contacted him and claimed that they were partners and that he thus owed her estate money from the business. Hameed explained that they were not business partners and never heard from the attorneys again, until Molati turned up at his supermarket about two weeks ago.
In her affidavit, she said she was simply there in her official capacity to oversee the removal of the goods. She said the removal was done by a private company and under the order of the executor of the deceased’ estate.
According to Molati’s affidavit, Hameed became indebted to the estate of the deceased upon her death. She stated that he was invited to make an offer to buy out the deceased’s share, which he never did. Thus, she said, the executor after consultations with the Master took possession of the goods for the winding up of the estate.
Hameed stated he was given no court order for the removal of his goods and no inventory was made when it was taken. He said she simply pitched at the shop and when he tried to prevent them taking the goods, one of the men with her produced a firearm.
Meanwhile, it emerged that in spite of the court order, the goods had not been returned. Hameed opened a business robbery case with the police after their alleged initial refusal to assist him.