“R70m cash” promise no good deed

2015-05-12 06:00

He was almost the prey of a con woman. That is, if he had not been clever enough to read the signs in time.

Fortunately Father Mike Williams and his church did not lose anything in the end.

Williams says he was approached by a money swindler last year and is now still very wary of “good Samaritans”.

The church held a drive last year and received a donation of shoes from an organisation.

“We received odd pairs of shoes from an organisation and were told we could do with it as we please. We then decided to sort through the shoes and make as many pairs as we could,” Williams says.

After sorting through the shoes the church was left with hundreds of odd pairs of shoes with which they did not know what to do.

“We then decided to donate the odd pairs of shoes to amputees. It was then advertised in local newspapers with my contact number because beneficiaries would then collect it at our church,” he explains.

Williams says the good deed was well received and all the shoes were collected in a matter of weeks.

He received a call from a woman during this time that the shoes were being handed out.

“She called me one afternoon and I assumed it was somebody calling me about collecting shoes because of the good reception of the initiative. However, she told me she just saw the advertisement in the paper and wanted to make a donation to the church,” Williams says.

Meet for handoverHe says the woman, known as Carol Cyster, arranged to meet him where she could hand over the money.

“I gave her the church banking details so that she could do the deposit. She told me that the amount was too large to do the deposit and she needed to see me personally for the handover,” Williams continues.

He adds the woman was very forthcoming with information about how she got the money and why the church was the beneficiary.

“After we met she told me that she was caught up in diamond smuggling and was not involved with it anymore. She told me she wanted the money ‘cleansed’ – that is why she decided to donate it to the church, because of the good deed we did with the shoes initiative,” he says.

According to Williams the woman then said she needed to get rid of the money as soon as possible “to leave her old life behind”.

“I met with her one afternoon in a very busy main road and she told me we couldn’t speak there and went to a secluded place. There she told me the money was still at the Reserve Bank and she needed transport to get the money,” Williams says.

He was told that the money was too much to pack in his own bakkie.

“She told me the money was too much and when I asked her how much money she was donating she did not tell me at first. Eventually she told me she wanted to donate R70m. She said the money was stored at the Reserve Bank in Cape Town in cases made up of R200 notes.”

Wouldn’t let upWilliams says Cyster then asked him to pay for a truck to transport the money.

“She said it would cost R5 000 to hire the truck. I told her I do not have that kind of money on me. She then asked for R500 and said I could give the rest to her later.

“I just gave her R50 at the end of the day,” Williams says.

“I just wanted her to leave because I eventually realised that this was a scam artist and she wouldn’t let up until she got money from me,” he says.

Williams says he wants to share the story because people are preyed on too easily.

“Had I been none the wiser I would have lost way more money. People prey especially on people who want to do good for their communities. They are met by opportunistic thieves,” he says.

V

What are your thoughts? Starting with the word “Post”, SMS your views to 32516. SMSes cost R1

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.

/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.