RAF payout leads to bitter battle

2016-03-31 06:00

THE daughter of a homeless man, who died shortly after receiving a big payout from the Road Accident Fund, is embroiled in a legal battle with her mother over the money she expected to inherit.

Dinalee Minnie — the 18-year-old daughter of Theodore Minnie, of Durban — has instructed her attorneys to take “civil and criminal” steps against her mother for allegedly taking money from her late father’s estate without her knowledge or permission.

This has emerged just weeks after Durban attorney Subashnie Moodley, who helped Minnie to process the RAF claim, was struck off the roll of attorneys for reasons relating to the payout.

Moodley was found guilty by judges of unprofessional conduct after admitting she had “borrowed” some of the money paid out to Minnie, who lost his leg in an accident, and was also declared a beneficiary of his will.

Moodley relinquished her claim to Minnie’s estate when the application to strike her off the roll came before the high court.

She alleged in an affidavit at the time that she had struck a deal with Minnie to borrow some of the proceeds of the RAF payout as he did not want his ex-wife to get her hands on the money.

She alleged in the court papers that Minnie told her that he knew his ex-wife, Vijayluxmi “Rebecca” Gengan, wanted the proceeds of the RAF claim paid out to her and that he was “fearful” of her.

“He [Minnie] was concerned that if he was paid the proceeds, he would suffer the same fate as another beggar who had been paid out a large sum of money, which he squandered and he was still a beggar. For this reason he asked me to keep the money for him until he decided what to do,” Moodley said at the time.

Now Minnie’s only surviving blood relative, his daughter Dinalee, alleges that her mother removed most of the money from her late father’s estate without her knowledge.

Her attorney, Shalen Naidoo of Logan­ Naidoo & Associates, confirmed to Weekend Witness that the wheels have been set in motion to file an application in the high court.

Dinalee says in an affidavit she was appointed executor of her late father’s estate in July 2015.

Her parents were divorced and her father had no other children.

Dinalee said her parents separated 17 years ago, and she had only seen her dad twice in her life. Her mother never wanted her to have contact with him. He was unemployed, had no fixed address, begged for money, food and shelter and was an alcoholic.

She said it was only in 2012, after her mother found out that he had had an accident, that she looked for him, as she realised money would be due to him.

“My mum firmly believed that she was entitled to that money for arrear maintenance as my dad never paid maintenance for me. It was only in this year that we found him at the Bluff mall with one leg amputated, and he was awaiting payment from the Road Accident Fund.”

Dinalee said she received interest from the RAF capital, that was invested in trust by attorneys Laresen and Falconer and Hassen and Parson, until she turned 18.

She said she had opened a bank account in respect of the estate with the assistance of her mother. At the time, she was also made to sign documents that were not explained to her by the bank official or her mother.

It turns out that she had signed a special power of attorney, giving her mother full control over and access to the bank account in question, she alleges.

According to Dinalee, her mother had “disposed” of most of the money and only a “nominal balance” of R22 000 remains in the account.

According to Dinalee, she had moved out of her mother’s home last year (2015) after they had a “fallout”.

She is currently married.

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