Bad Santa admits to selling samaritan’s tools

2012-12-14 00:00

AN Empangeni businessman’s workshop was cleaned out by a Santa Claus on Sunday.

Alvin Pillay of Kevin’s Auto in Empangeni Rail got the shock of his life when he discovered that equipment and stock worth over R200 000 had disappeared.

It is alleged that homeless Hendrik “Johan” Swart, who had been doing some odd jobs around Pillay’s workshop, stole the items when Pillay allowed him to sleep in the workshop.

Pillay said he was approached by Swart about a month ago and he offered him some work to do in the workshop.

The business, which does car radio and battery installations, among other things, has not been able to do any work since the crime was committed.

“After the rains of last week, I felt very bad knowing that this man had no roof over his head, so I decided to offer him a place to sleep inside the workshop,” said Pillay. Swart spent a few nights sleeping in the workshop.

“On Sunday we discovered that he had made off with hundreds of thousands of rands worth of equipment,” said Pillay.

A case was opened with the Empangeni SAPS on the same day. The suspect was spotted at Shoprite Centre Richards Bay on Tuesday where he had been employed as Santa Claus and he was arrested.

When questioned, the suspect admitted stealing the equipment and he also confessed to selling it to a man for R1 500.

Pillay is asking anyone with information as to the whereabouts of the stolen property to come forward. “This happened at a very bad time as we approach the holiday season and it doesn’t look as if this will be a merry Christmas for me and my staff of 10,” said Pillay.

His tools are all engraved with the initials “K A” for Kevin’s Auto and he is willing to refund the R1 500 to whoever bought the tools.

Swart appeared in the Empangeni Magistrate’s Court yesterday. He was denied bail.

Join the conversation! 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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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 network.


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.