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17 June 2011 at 11:19 - Posted by Anonymous

Five years of savings spent by someone else


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Frans Madimetja Mphahlele discovered that someone had used his Postbank account to go on a shopping spree and cleaned out all his savings within eight days. Picture: Moeletsi Mabe

For five years straight, Frans Mphahlele saved his taxi driver’s salary every week because he wanted to build a house.

But it took a mere eight days in March this year for someone to clean him out of his R25 000 savings.

The 42-year-old Tembisa resident doesn’t drink, but more than R6 000 of the money was spent on alcohol. He doesn’t have a car, but some of the money was used to buy car parts. In addition, clothes were bought at Markham and Truworths as well as from a boutique in Kempton Park, where some shirts had cost R600.

To add insult to injury, when he went to his branch to enquire about the fraudulent activity on his Postbank account, his branch manager accused him of having spent the money himself then kicked him out of the post office.

“She was very rude to me. She kicked me out of the office and said she would call the police. She then got the security guard to escort me. I just told myself that she won’t take my case seriously because I do not speak English well.

“Why would I spend the money I had worked hard for like this? I don’t even drink alcohol,” he said.

The branch manager was not at the post office on Tuesday to respond to Mphahlele’s claims. When The Star spoke to her over the phone last week, she was not willing to speak and referred all queries to the Postbank’s fraud department.

Mphahlele, who lives in a shack that has no furniture except a bed and a plastic chair, had saved his money to buy a car and use some to buy a stand back home in Zebediela, Limpopo.

He had abandoned the car idea after meeting his current partner, Nomsa Moswini, and decided to use a portion of the money to pay lobola for her.

Mphahlele said he had already told her of his intentions when the money went missing, and he suspects the bank staff who had assisted him are the ones who went shopping with his old card.

Mphahlele said he had gone to the post office in January this year to get a new card as his old one had expired.

“A man who works there came and stood behind the lady who was assisting me and looked on the computer screen. The lady gave me the new card, and when she was about to give me the old card, the man reached for it and said ‘This card stays here.’ I was wondering why they had not cut it in front of me, but did not think too much about it afterwards.”

Mphahlele said he had discovered in March when he wanted to withdraw some money to buy food for his nephew that his bank account had been cleaned out. He has opened a case with the Kempton Park police, and a fraud investigation was confirmed.

The Postbank said it was busy with investigations in response to a list of questions The Star sent to it. Postbank’s Lungile Lose said it was policy to compensate clients immediately if the branch had been negligent. - The Star

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