‘My aunt took my inheritance and left me with nothing’

2019-01-16 16:56
Teddy Khutso Ntsoane. (Photo: Supplied)

Teddy Khutso Ntsoane. (Photo: Supplied)

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By the time he turned 15 he’d lost both parents and had no one to turn to so Teddy Khutso Ntsoane (now 23) was happy when his aunt fought to be his legal guardian. Little did he know she would take his inheritance and use it for her own family, leaving him with nothing but pain and suffering.

This is his story.

“After my mother passed away in 2001, my father – a taxi driver at the time – decided we should move from Limpopo to Johannesburg so that he could look for a better job. We moved and he found a job as a truck driver in Midrand while I was in primary school.

Our lives became a lot better but then in 2010 my father suddenly passed away. His company paid out money to my maternal aunt to arrange the funeral, but the funeral wasn’t even decent and I suspect she kept some of the money for herself.

I was in Grade 9 at the time and couldn’t leave our home because it was mid-June and I had to complete the school year. I stayed alone and when the year ended I had no choice but to move back to Polokwane where my maternal aunt lives.

I lived with her and while I was there she’d constantly go to the police station and to the court to fill in paperwork. At the time I was young and didn’t realise the paperwork she was always busy with had to do with my parents’ funds. She’d travel from Polokwane to Midrand every morning around 5am and go to my father’s workplace to transfer the funds to her account.

That December she bought me everything I wanted. But after some time her behaviour towards me suddenly changed and she began to treat me badly. I ran away and went to live at a distant relative’s house in Louis Trichardt. I went there because, while I was living alone in Joburg shortly after my father’s passing, this relative would send me money for food.

I explained the situation to Mma Tshego (the relative) and she agreed to take me in. She told me she’d send me to school to do my Grade 10. I went to school and continued to stay with her.

In December my maternal aunt called and told Mma Tshego the money from my parents’ policies had been paid out. Mma Tshego and I were happy and she was relieved as she thought she’d be able to stop using her own money to pay for my fees as she had a lot of children to take care of. My aunt didn’t disclose how much money the policies had paid out.

My aunt then asked me to go visit her. When I arrived at the house I was amazed at how different the place was. Everything in the house was brand new and she had renovated it. She had also bought two taxis. This was shocking as I knew she was unemployed and had gotten the house after her husband passed on.

Her two children were suddenly going to a private school in Polokwane and their standard of living had changed. She bought me the nicest phone a teenager could have at the time (a Nokia XpressMusic) and Christmas clothes. She then paid the first two terms of the following year’s boarding-school fees.

When Mma Tshego came to fetch me after the visit, she asked me if I also saw how my money was being misused by my aunt. We both cried that day and went back to Louis Trichardt. We also learnt that my aunt had renovated my grandparents’ home.

Whenever we’d ask her for money she’d give Mma Tshego excuses and say she’d give us money but then never did. At times she’d tell us her taxis had broken down and she had to fix them. But when I’d go visit the taxis were working perfectly and her children were still going to the same expensive private school.

Mma Tshego’s mother decided to contact my father’s company and they revealed that a lot of money had already been paid out. There was nothing we could do, so Mma Tshego continued to pay for everything until I completed my matric.

A few years later my aunt’s children both failed matric and both her taxis were burnt. My aunt passed on shortly after that.

Luckily I received a bursary to do electrical engineering at Capricorn TVET college. I managed to receive my N4 certificate, but I can’t get my other certificates due to owing funds. I’ve also been handed over to debt counsellors because I’m not able to pay my fees.

What my aunt did to me still pains me today because I had to attend a public school while she took her children to a private school. I would have been able to pay for university and study something that would improve my life. She left her children with a beautiful house while I have nothing.

I’m living in pain, but I am positive things will work out for me in the end. I will continue to work hard and will never allow depression to take over my life.”

 

 

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