Frustrating case of missing money

Pumla Hashe had the blues after R400 her daughter transferred to her from Shoprite U Save, Parklands, disappeared.

Ms Hashe said she was on holiday in Umtata in July and went to the Checkers money market, at Ngebs Mall, the new shopping centre there, to withdraw the cash.

“I had to also withdraw R170 and R200. I wrote all the ‘M’ numbers on a piece of paper and handed it to the cashier who asked me if I had received the information on my cellphone and when I said yes she asked to see it,” the Parklands woman said.

“I had no reason not to trust her and showed her the WhatsApp message from my daughter which had the M number and PIN next to it. She did whatever she had to do on the computer and a few minutes later she showed me an error message which said the money had already been withdrawn.

“But she couldn’t tell me by whom. I managed to get the R370 and decided to try to solve the problem of the missing money when I got home.

“In Cape Town, we went to Shoprite U Save and told the story to the store manager, Wanita Gertse, who was very helpful and sent the information to Shoprite-Checkers head office.

“At her suggestion we went to Table View police station to get a subpoena which we had to send to Capitec Bank as this is between Capitec Bank and me, the client.

“But the police officer told us we had been given the wrong information and we should open a case of fraud or theft and file an affidavit, which my daughter did,” said Ms Hashe who also called the Checkers-Shoprite fraud line, where she was given a reference number and was told they would investigate.

Ms Hashe said she tried to call Checkers at Ngebs Mall but nobody answered the landline.

She asked a relative in Umtata to take her cellphone to the store manager. Which she did.

“I spoke to Simon Mayetle, and a Ms Dondi who told me Umtata Shoprite U-Save don’t do money market transfers and I will have to take action against the staff member who allegedly took the money,” said Ms Hashe who, when she found discrepancies in the branch numbers and dates of withdrawals, opened a case of theft.

Sarita van Wyk, spokeswoman for Shoprite-Checkers, said their customer service team have contacted Ms Hashe as well as her daughter, Zandile, and gave them the information the police need to help them to try to find the unauthorised withdrawer of the R400.

“Our Money Market assistant could not be involved as the unauthorised withdrawal took place at another store even before Ms Hashe went to Checkers Ngebs City,” Ms Van Wyk said.

Devon Currie (customer relations), told Zandile that the money transfer was withdrawn 30 minutes before her mother visited Checkers Ngebs City and he gave the Hashes details of the transfers, that it was sent from U-Save Parklands and withdrawn from U-Save Umtata reportedly by a Xola Madyibi.

“The investigating officer must send a subpoena to Capitec Bank in order to request the outstanding details (ID and cellphone number) of Mr Madyibi who allegedly withdrew the money,” Mr Currie told Ms Hashe.

“It is, however, important to note that the safeguarding of the money transfer information remains the responsibility of the sender and must never be shared with anyone other than the intended recipient,” Mr Currie said, referring to the fact that Ms Hashe showed the cashier the details on her cellphone.

However, the police closed the docket as “undetected” and then reopened it when a subpoena was apparently served on Capitec Bank asking them to provide the bank account holder’s details.

The Table View police are proving to be extremely tardy in following up the case, as another email Ms Hashe sent me on November 11, indicates that nothing had been done. Police said they would respond to her and when they did they told her a “Section 205 is in progress”. That means they are issuing a subpoena.

“It will take months to get feedback from banks and we will give feedback as soon as information is received.”

Will Ms Hashe get her money back? Somehow I doubt it. And more than likely the recipient won’t have any money and Ms Hashe will probably have to take action through the courts.