‘I paid fake lawyer’

2010-11-01 00:00

ANOTHER alleged victim of Sukana Montague said the suspected fake prosecutor promised her finance for a house and a vehicle and offered to remove her name from a credit bureau’s blacklist in return for a mere R3 000.

The teacher, who asked to remain unnamed, said she had been desperate to find a lawyer to help her find an easy way of settling her “frustrating” debts. She said she owed about R40 000, which she could not settle.

The banks declined to finance her for a house or vehicle.

“A senior manager in the Msunduzi Municipality, who is also a victim, advised me to see Samantha [Montague] to get my name cleared,” said the 40-year-old teacher.

Montague, who allegedly introduced herself as “Samantha”, also promised the teacher she would arrange for a bank to finance her.

It is alleged that nurses, teachers and senior government officials would queue at Montague’s Timber Street offices for help. The Witness understands that more than 200 alleged victims have come forward.

A man said to have worked with Montague was arrested on Friday.

Montague is charged with extortion. Her bail application to the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court is expected to continue today.

During the first consultation, Montague allegedly told the teacher she would have to pay R3 000 for her legal service. Montague then tracked down all of her debts, which included R30 000 owed to a city private hospital, using her ID.

“I paid R500 twice in June, then R1 000 towards the end of June,” the teacher said.

She claimed that Montague told her that her name would be cleared within two months and that she would make arrangements for the debts to be settled through the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

“In July she told me I should settle the outstanding R1 000 as she had succeeded in clearing my name. I later found out that I was still blacklisted,”said the teacher.

“I went to her office to demand my money back. I became furious when she refused and I attempted to throw her out of a window of her fifth-floor office, but I was stopped by police, who escorted me out of her office.”

She said she has since approached the investigating officer dealing with Montague’s case and is expected to make a statement today.

Meanwhile, a young woman who worked as a clerk for Montague told The Witness that she and her employer were kept in a prison cell for three days in 2007.

“Her clients would deposit their money into my bank account. I stopped working for her after my lawyer helped me out of trouble.

“I rejoined her last year after she told me that she was a changed person who runs a legal business. This time she had been using an account belonging to my colleague to collect money from her clients. This colleague of mine is now in trouble with the law,” said the 27-year-old woman.

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