Goss ‘used Jika Joe links to keep creditors at bay’

2014-05-17 00:00

MULTIPLE KZN scamster Lerlin Goss managed to keep her creditors at bay by claiming she was linked to a notorious family well-known in taxi circles.

And in her quest to attain wealth and respect, she allegedly crashed businesses, offered fake bursaries and made allegedly fraudulent payments to help a Christian NPO.

This week The Witness exposed Goss for operating an alleged sham property business, Goss Real Estate (also known as Rawson’s Corporation), using fake cheques and EFTs to purchase services, homes and cars.

According to Lee-Ann Marais, who once employed Goss, no one has pursued criminal charges against her because she claimed to be close to the infamous Jika Joe group — a Pietermaritzburg taxi outfit that gained notoriety for being linked to violent crime in the 1990s and 2000s in and around Pietermaritzburg.

Jika Joe informal settlement was named after the late taxi boss Jika Joe Dlamini. Goss was a relative sharing the same maiden name as Dlamini’s mother — Williams.

Marais, who blames Goss for the closure of her Johannesburg-based fuel resale business in 2004/5, by allegedly defrauding her of R1 million, said, “She has been defrauding people for years. We know of others but no one has pursued her because of her Jika Joe link.”

But Regina Khumalo (nee Williams), who alleges Goss — her cousin — fronted Goss Real Estate using her name, said Goss’s side of the family had never been close to the “Jika Joe side”. Khumalo said her late brother-in-law Ivan Dlamini had started Jika Joe’s Taxi Association and named it after his son Joe.

“Lerlin’s family always thought they were better, more educated than us and we never really mixed,” said Khumalo.

Lizelle Beginsel (27), now a part-time librarian, said in 2004 Goss offered bursaries for four matric pupils at Eastwood Secondary School in Pietermaritzburg. At the time, Goss and her husband Ashley were running a fuel resale company, Matrix Oil, which The Witness revealed this week was run into the ground.

“I was offered one of the bursaries. They sent letters to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, committing to pay my fees, and paid my registration fees. I began studying social sciences. That was the last I heard of them. At the end of my second year the university would not let me back. No fees were ever paid. I have never seen my marks but I owe the university R34 000. A garnishee order takes R250 per month from my bank account now,” she said.

Beginsel, a mother of two, has since lost her partner, aged 26, to a brain aneurism and financially supports her parents.

A Christian welfare NPO, which asked not to be named, said Goss offered to pay their rent at a new premises for six months.

“The landlord let us move in once she received an EFT. We have been here two months and still the rent has not been paid. We face eviction,” said an NPO worker.

Lerlin Goss could not be reached for comment.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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