Westville daughters who swindled mom out of R2m sent to jail
However, after spending just one night at Westville Prison, Anisa Sayed-Khan, 39, of Phoenix, and Zaahidah Khan, 33, of Westville, managed to come up with R1.46m in cash to pay their mother, Zora Khan, 58. They were released yesterday (Tuesday).
The drama started on Monday after a warrant of arrest was issued for the sisters. They had failed to meet the October 31 deadline to pay back the money.
They were hauled before magistrate Anand Maharaj in the Durban Magistrate’s Court. In August, Maharaj convicted the sisters of fraud and 27 counts of theft.
At the time, they were ordered to pay back the R1.5m within a stipulated period or go to jail for five years.
In court, their lawyer Saleem Khan said his clients did not have the full amount to pay back. Instead, Sayed-Khan offered her mother the title deed to her freehold home in Phoenix. Zaahidah offered to pay R500000 in cash.
Zora Khan told the court she did not want the house, only the money stolen from her. Maharaj told the convicted fraudsters they had ample time to come up with the money.
He said Khan was elderly, had to attend court often and it was time her money was returned.
He then sentenced both women to five years at Westville Prison. Their mother sobbed as she watched her daughters being led out of court under police guard.
“It’s not about the money at all. My children are my life and my daughters have been close to me. I took them wherever they needed to go, moved heaven and earth for them, saw to their every need and demand. I sat in a hot car for hours waiting while they attended lectures and wrote their exams during their studies. They wanted to become psychologists but used psychology on me,” she said.
Khan’s husband retired as a senior health inspector in 2014. He died a year later after suffering a heart attack.
“My husband worked hard for his money and to provide for the family. I also contributed toward the household by selling samoosas and repairing shoes. That’s how we built our home.
“When he retired, he took me to the bank to transfer his pension of R1.5million into my account. I told him to give it to the children but he was adamant I keep it. He said I had worked hard over the years.”
Khan said she was diabetic and her husband had known she would need money to take care of her health.
“He wanted me to be able to support myself and not be a burden on anyone.”
The sisters had swindled their mother out of her inheritance money following the death of their father. They had offered to “help” their mother with her financial affairs.
They convinced their mother to sign up for internet banking and hand over the passwords to them as they believed their brother would try to steal the money.
On various occasions, they transferred the money into two separate accounts without their mother’s knowledge.
Sayed-Khan had also called the bank and pretended to be her mother. She cancelled the SMS notification feature on her mother’s cellphone, so she would not be alerted to any transactions.
However, Khan was alerted to the fraudulent activity on her account after she received an SMS from another bank, Capitec, which indicated that she had no funds. Several calls to her daughters went unanswered. She reported the matter to police.