How La Lucia woman allegedly swindled gardener of R58m inheritance
Durban - La Lucia resident Adline Pillay is accused of forging her reclusive neighbour's will in order to lay claim to the elderly woman's estate which is believed to be valued at close to R60 million. She is believed to have been colluding with two attorneys, Rodney Reddy and P Ramjathan, who have also been charged in connection with the case.
Gardener Sabelo Mdlovu worked for Charlotte Davies at her Homeford Drive home for more than 10 years and was reportedly the only person the elderly woman had an ongoing relationship with. He was also the person who discovered her body and initiated the arrangements for her burial. So when he was passed over in favour of Pillay, he became suspicious and raised the alarm.
This led to a four-year tug of war between the State and Pillay over the assets derived from the alleged swindle.
The Assets Forfeiture Unit has successfully applied to the court to attach a R5.8 million property in La Lucia and freeze more than R2.3 million held in Standard Bank account which they alleged are proceeds of crime.
“According to the Liquidation and Distribution account of the total assets reflected in the estate amounted to R58 202 962.35 and the balance available for distribution was R44 396 320.02,” the AFU court papers said.
The AFU motion of notice alleges that P Ramjathan and Associates paid R600 000 to Mdlovu from an ordinary trust account - instead of Davies estate account - on May 17, 2013, before the Master of the court had approved the liquidation and distribution account.
In addition, court papers allege that on February 24, 2014, Pillay through Ramjathan got Sasfin Securities that were holding portfolio shares and credit balances on behalf of Davies to transfer R11 million into Davies estate account. Three days later, a payment of R5,5 million was made from Davies estate account to Pillay’s Rand Merchant Private Cheque Account which was eventually used to purchase the property in La Lucia.
The AFU further allege that the R2.3 million in the Standard Bank account were proceeds from the sale of two properties owned by Davies.
The AFU has frozen several of Pillay's accounts and assets - pending the outcome of the criminal trial.
In May this year, she brought an application for living and legal expenses. The application is being opposed by the AFU and the matter has been adjourned for the filing of affidavits by the respective parties.