Woman conned out of entire life by ‘friend’

2014-03-24 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG woman has been conned out of her entire life, after being fleeced of her pension, furniture and even her house by a “friend”.

Having lost over R800 000, single mother Saira Shaik (49) — a fomer call centre clerk — faces eviction from her own home after a con artist allegedly sold her home without her permission.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that Mountain Rise police were investigating a case of theft by false pretences.

“It is alleged by the complainant that she received her pension money from her workplace and the known suspect forced her to sell the house and promised to buy another house in Durban. She was taken to a lawyer where she was forced to sign papers she did not understand and the house was sold,” said Zwane.

Shaik said her life began to fall apart when she met a woman at a party at a relative’s house. “From then on, she became close to me,” said a tearful Shaik.

The woman’s son then began a romantic relationship with Shaik’s daughter Nadia — and allegedly used their romance to get close to the Shaiks.

“My boyfriend told me that they were looking for a place to rent and I must help them,” said Nadia.

The boyfriend moved in with the Shaiks while his mother rented an apartment nearby. The two subsequently became engaged to be married.

Nadia said her boyfriend’s mother made a point of insisting that he contribute to groceries and not “freeload” from the Shaiks, and began to help with some of the Shaik’s bills herself.

Shaik said, “At some stage she told us that she was going to the mall to meet someone who will sort out our clothing accounts. That is when she started taking over everything.”

Shaik — who suffers from depression — said she did not recognise the danger as her new friend began managing her affairs.

“She forced me to resign from work as she promised to take me to a Cape Town hospital where they were going to take care of me”, said Shaik.

“I resigned from The Witness distribution call centre in December 2012 and she sweet-talked me to take all my pension pay out. That is when this started to be nasty. She would demand that I take loans from the banks. After they were approved and deposited to my account, she would take me to the bank to withdraw the money then give it to her,” she alleged.

“She would become violent and use vulgar language, saying I am useless.”

Shaik claims she was drugged and cannot remember anything from the day she allegedly signed away her house at a lawyer’s office.

She alleged the last communication she received from her “friend” was a SMS on March 5 stating that she must get out of her house, and “must be ready”.

“We are only left with less than 10 days to move out of the house as it was sold. I don’t know where to go.”

She alleged that the woman promised her a better house in Durban’s Bluff area — but that her friend had then disappeared. Nadia said she had not seen her ex-fiance since March 5, but understood that he was in Johannesburg.

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