‘He vowed to kill me’

2013-11-25 00:00

A ROW between a Pietermaritzburg lawyer and an upholsterer over money and furniture resulted in a gun and knives allegedly being drawn as tempers flared last week.

This emerged in the high court on Friday when local lawyer Renenthren Padayachee obtained an urgent interim interdict restraining upholsterer Younis Mahommed and his assistant, Clifford Anthony, from “assaulting, threatening or communicating” with him.

The court also authorised the sheriff to remove four oak dining room chairs and an upholstered settee from Mahommed and Anthony’s possession and immediately hand them over to Padayachee.

Padayachee alleges the furniture was illegally taken from his house last Wednesday by Anthony, who drove his bakkie into the yard when the gates were left open. He followed a gardener into the house, and “blatantly lied” to his maid by telling her that he [Padayachee] had authorised the release of the goods, he said.

The furniture is the cause of the row between the men after Padayachee refused to pay the price Mahommed demanded, alleging he had not agreed to it.

Before this, Padayachee alleges Mahommed “harassed” him and his wife almost daily for a week by sending Anthony to them to demand payment.

He said he was “shocked” when he got a call from Anthony saying he had removed the furniture from his home on Mahommed’s orders, and they were going to sell it “immediately” if Padayachee did not pay.

He contacted Mahommed and asked to discuss the matter amicably and Mahommed demanded that he should come to his premises.

“I was very uncomfortable with his aggressive manner over the phone and requested two clients of mine [Arnold Naidoo and Brenton Frank] … to accompany me to Raven Upholsterers,” he said.

Padyachee said Mahommed confronted him with a “barrage of verbal abuse and threats”.

“Whilst very angry I remained composed and advised him that what he had done was fraud.”

The attorney said he had demanded the return of his furniture or he would go to court.

“He then proceeded to pull out a gun. He cocked the gun and pointed it directly at my face. He threatened that if I ever come back he would kill me.”

But Padayachee said he maintained his composure long enough to snap a photograph (with his cellphone) of Mahommed pointing the gun at him.

Mahommed, in a telephonic interview with The Witness on Friday, said he had done work for Padyachee for about R12 000, with R4 000 still unpaid despite numerous requests.

Mahommed said he contacted Padyachee’s wife, who told him she did not know what her husband was up to, and that it had become very embarrassing.

The wife said she would make arrangements for the domestic worker to expect him to collect the upholstered funiture, Mahommed said.

He collected it after being let in by the domestic.

That evening Padyachee and two men allegedly arrived at his premises and threatened him, demanding the furniture back.

Mahommed said he only drew his gun because the other men threatened him with knives.

According to him the men then left, threatening that “this is not over”.

The case will return to court on December 13.

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