Contractor accused of ‘con job’ again

2018-02-13 06:00
Adiel Abrahams’s unfinished work has cuased more damage to the home.

Adiel Abrahams’s unfinished work has cuased more damage to the home.

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It has been three months since People’s Post first published the story of a Hanover Park family who paid thousands of rand to a local contractor who ran off with their money before completing the job (“Home an unfinished business”, People’s Post, 14 November 2017). While the family confirms that the issue remains unresolved, another distraught family has come forward with a claim that the same contractor recently conned them out of thousands of rand, leaving them with an unfinished home.

The Rajam family says they paid Adiel Abrahams, who owns WestCrete Precast, an amount of R151 000 to build a granny flat on their property. They say that after signing two contracts, only 85% of the subpar work, which was set to be completed in September last year, has been completed to date.

“This was all my money I saved, along with my provident fund, and borrowed money, just to pay for him to con me. He has done this to me and the Bassadien family from Hanover Park. This is unacceptable and something should be done before he does this to anyone else,” says an angry Baariq Rajam.

When People’s Post first contacted Abrahams in December to follow up on the family’s allegations, he promised to finish up the job the same week.

The contract work has since been left incomplete and the property has already had two break-ins, causing more damaged to the unfinished work.

Rajam says the first few days of work went well but things started changing after a while, with fewer workers showing up on site. This is the same situation that his previous clients, the Bassadien family, experienced­.

“He started making excuses why he couldn’t come, and I believed him at first. He asked for more money for materials and I gave it to him, thinking he would come, but then there were more excuses. Either his workers were drunk or his vehicle had broken down. This continued until I got frustrated. He said his in financial difficulty and requested me to give more money for materials,” he says.

According to the family, Abrahams brought the materials, but these did not add up to the money given. The work done with the new materials was also “subpar, which indicated bad workmanship”. The client eventually ended up finishing off the work himself at extra cost.

“The roof was leaking, the internal doors were not fitted right and the doorframes were loose. The walls had cracks in them and some windows either had broken glass or the strips were broken, which made me question it again. Everything was skew and untidy. He even damaged the neighbour’s property in the process of work,” says Rajam.

Abrahams stayed away from the family property for weeks, and due to the unfinished state of the family’s granny flat, it was again burgled and wiring and plumbing were stolen from the property. Eager to secure his home, the client paid Abrahams another R2000 to hang doors and windows so as to avoid more break-ins.

Not knowing what to do next, he asked Abrahams what the amount would be to complete the outstanding work. “He said the balance was R8000, which would cover it. I was sceptical of giving him the money because that didn’t seem enough to finish the work, and what if he never came back again? I drew up another contract to give him R8000. He swore he would finish the work within five to seven working days, but he didn’t,” he explains.

At this point 100% of the Rajams’ money had already been paid, and signing a contract “did not seem to bother Abrahams”. “He was just eager to take the money and leave without reading it properly. It turned out that he did the same thing to another family and is currently in a lawsuit with them, which leads me to believe that he is using my money to pay that debt and leaving me hanging until he can con the next person to sort me out.”

“The workers say they don’t know what he does with the money he gets for the jobs. I just feel I need to expose him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt too many times,” adds Rajam.

Meanwhile, during a recent follow-up with Abrahams on Wednesday, he again denied the allegations and stated that he had finished off the property a day prior to our call. “The job is done. We went back today to pick up the rubble and to do a small piece of tile grout. It’s all done. ”

People’s Post visited the Rajam family home and can confirm the unfinished work to the property.

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