Cops on the hunt for Zulu royalty

2014-11-09 15:00

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Police are looking for Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s nephew, Gift Siyabonga Hlatshwayo, after two fraud cases were opened against him.

Hlatshwayo (27) allegedly bought a car in a Durban man’s name and made off with R15?000 he had promised to use as a deposit on a car for a Centurion woman.

Constable Mark Molewa from Pretoria’s Lyttelton police station said a fraud case was opened against Hlatshwayo at the station in July.

“I can confirm that Hlatshwayo is a wanted suspect,” said Molewa.

“We are aware that Durban police are also looking for Hlatshwayo for another case of fraud that was opened in Durban in April this year.”

Hlatshwayo originally hails from Umhlanga Rocks, north of Durban. Police, friends and one of Zwelithini’s other relatives all confirm that he is the king’s nephew.

City Press called and SMSed Hlatshwayo repeatedly from Tuesday. He did not respond by the time of going to press.

Kgolagano Maleke Mphethe, from Durban, told City Press he had trusted Hlatshwayo, who was an old school friend.

Mphethe says Hlatshwayo used a copy of his ID, driver’s licence and banking details to buy a Mercedes-Benz C30, which is worth more than R1?million.

“I don’t own a car – I never had one,” said Mphethe.

“He asked for my details because he had promised me employment. So I trusted him because every employer will ask for an employee’s personal details.”

It was only when R20?000 was debited from his account that Mphethe realised something had gone wrong. Mphethe insists Hlatshwayo is to blame because he did not give his personal documents to anyone else.

Durban police confirmed that Mphethe had opened a fraud case against Hlatshwayo.

The other complainant, from Centurion, who asked not to be named, said she had trusted Hlatshwayo because he was her husband’s friend.

She wanted to buy a Mercedes-Benz CLA and claims that Hlatshwayo offered to help.

“Hlatshwayo said if he assisted, the process would be ‘quicker’ and ‘faster’. He said I should pay R15?000 for the deposit on a car and I did,” she said.

“But every time I followed up with him, he told me stories or ignored my phone calls.”

She then opened the case at Lyttelton police station.

Hlatshwayo’s Twitter profile describes him as a young businessman who made his first million when he was 22.

One of Hlatshwayo’s friends, who met him two years ago, said he was tired of being associated with the royal.

The friend, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed that Hlatshwayo exploited his royal connections to charm people.

“I always see him gallivanting around Sandton’s restaurants. If he’s a suspect, why are police not arresting him?”

“Is it because he is King Goodwill Zwelithini’s nephew?” asked another friend.

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