Public Eye (South Africa)

Designer valuables allegedly stolen from mourner’s SUV


was going to wear to the funeral were also missing.

"My three pairs of sunglasses, which include the Alaia brand, which cost R7 999, and the other two, ranging around R6 999 each, stress medication and extra house keys [were also gone].

"I was so worried about the D&G which I didn't bring with. I own the likes of D&G, Christian Louboutin clutch bags that I left at home, little things that show the quality of the stuff that I do keep. I don't do what other people do, taking photograph­s with labels. I keep labels. I was not making it up. They are not even showing me CCTV footage," said the anxious Leeuw.

She added that she was disappoint­ed as the owner of the establishm­ent was allegedly rude to her.

"They told me that there's no sign of a break–in. It's just my word that there were such [items]. They didn't come to me or do a follow-up. I called my attorney who advised me to go and report the matter to the police. I've lost so much and these people (owners) can't be bothered and are not interested.

“For them its business as usual. As leisure clients we cannot be taken for a ride. My children were traumatise­d.

"I follow them on Instagram. I contacted them and they told me about an apartment in Pelham.

They sent images and I told my kids that we are taking it as we are going to PMB for a funeral; we will survive.

"I ended up paying for one night. If I had paid for the three nights upfront, they would have not given me back my money. I wonder why I only paid for one night as I was not suspicious.

"I was not able to assist during the funeral arrangemen­ts as I was busy sorting out this case. They needed my car the most as it has the biggest boot. I want justice. It's terrible exposure for guests," she added.

The owner, who cannot be named, said that when you go to any property you do so at your own discretion.

"It means you are also responsibl­e for yourself. There was no forced entry to her car and her car alarm was not jammed. When the security company came, she was not around. She was out for breakfast. It does not make sense to anyone, from face value, to say 'you broke into my car and stole valuables worth R150 000'. There was no forced entry. She didn't even lose the keys and the remote was not jammed," he said.

He added that she doesn't have a right to see the footage.

"What she is saying is irrelevant. The question is that in South Africa, if you put items worth that amount in the back seat, not even in the boot, where are you from? Come on, I am not going to say she is lying or not but the story doesn't stand [up]," he added.

Msunduzi Pietermari­tzburg Tourism Associatio­n (MPTA) director Dumisani Mhlongo, said such incidents paint a bad image of the establishm­ent.

"They need to ensure that they have special consent papers before starting to operate. They also need to have a tourism membership certificat­e for community tourism organisati­ons which they need to talk to Edtea in order to be registered at a provincial level. When checking for compliance all these three papers need to mounted on the wall to confirm that this place is registered," said Mhlongo.

He added that visitors need to ensure they check these papers at the reception area.

"They also need to call our office and ask us if the place they are going to is registered or not, to ensure that they are safe."

He said they can't control things if people set themselves up and call themselves B&B'S.

Mountain Rise police spokespers­on, Warrant Officer Panchael Singh, confirmed the incident.

"She said when she heard the alarm she didn't come out because she is in a secure complex and there is a security guard.

"When she woke up in the morning, she discovered that all the items were removed from the vehicle and the value is about R151 000.

"The investigat­ion is still ongoing. A task team was put in place to try and locate the suspects," he said.

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