Sunday, 1 March 2020

CAR IMPORTER NABBED OVER BOTCHED DEAL


A Bulawayo car importer Hoaxy Investments, which trades as Be Forward Bulawayo has been dragged to court for allegedly defrauding the administrator of Sethule Lodge in the city.

Be Forward Bulawayo, represented by one of its directors Danielle Gretel Millar, allegedly swindled Mr Conrad Tshuma of US$2 686 in a botched car deal. Mr Tshuma according to records, in February last year entered into an agreement with Be Forward Bulawayo, which was to import a Mercedes Benz CLK 200 on his behalf.

It was stated that Mr Tshuma saw an advertisement outside the company premises of the company and decided to enquire.

Records indicated that he met Millar and told her the type of car he intended to buy. Thereafter Millar is said to have told him that they could import the car but at a landing cost of the said US$2 686.

It was also noted that Mr Tshuma was advised by Millar that he was to pay the actual cost of the car excluding shipping costs, which was US$470 and then settle the balance within a month.

Mr Tshuma made the initial payment of US$470 before making various payments thereafter. After making his final instalment Mr Tshuma is said to have signed an agreement of sale and was allegedly told that the shipping process had begun, with the estimated arrival of the vehicle being 16 April 2019 in Durban, South Africa and would be collected from the Beitbridge Border Post between 21 and 23 April the same year.

Mr Tshuma then started making payments for the landing fee, where he reportedly paid US$120 as his first instalment and US$80 towards transportation of the vehicle. 

It was stated that after the estimated time lapsed Mr Tshuma then approached Millar, who reportedly then told him that the weather in Durban was bad and they had failed to load the vehicle into car carriers.

Mr Tshuma then made several follow-ups with Millar who then allegedly started making various excuses, such as failing to get in touch with her contact person in South Africa. Mr Tshuma then reportedly got in touch with Be Forward, which indicated to him that the vehicle had been purchased by someone else and not Millar.

It was then in May 2019 that Mr Tshuma made a cancellation of the agreement, which Millar acknowledged receipt, however, saying  she had tried to explain the delays of the vehicle due to non-payment of commission (US$269), administration fees (US$300) and insurance (US$206).

“We accept the cancellation and we have begun to process your refund; we will not acknowledge the dates which you entered on your cancellation as they do not correspond with the time period indicated on your agreement of sale.

“As you know the amount paid is refundable after a period of 90 days and certain deductions will be made,” read Millar’s response to Mr Tshuma’s cancellation, provided in court records.

However, it was stated that Millar failed to live up to her promise and a default judgment was granted in favour of Mr Tshuma. 

Millar then filed an application for a rescission for the default judgment, which was granted by Bulawayo magistrate, Miss Adeline Mbeure. The matter is now scheduled to proceed by way of summons. Sunday News

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