A group of Mitchells Plain mense say their dreams of getting a job have been shattered by a heartless fraudster.
The 20 people say they’ve been scammed out of R3 600 after they were promised employment by Richard Petersen.
The people, who all live in Zenith Street, Rocklands, say they were offered jobs at a rail and shipping company, paying up to R7 000 a month.
But after charging them each R180 for “visa and passport costs”, the jobs never materialised, and Petersen disappeared.
Elizabeth Hendricks says Petersen was a former colleague, and she thought she could trust him.
She saw him in Town Centre on 28 March, when he said he could get her and her son jobs.
“All we needed were copies of our IDs and R180,” Elizabeth says.
She told a neighbour, and soon Petersen was “organising” jobs for 20 people.
Danielle Allen, 21, was going to get a cleaner job for R6 000 per month.
“I borrowed the [R180] from my aunt,” she says.
Newlywed Abdul-Kader Johnson, 25, even resigned from his job, thinking he’d be getting a new one soon.
“Now my wife is the only breadwinner. We basically have no money. If I get him all hell will break loose,” he says.
Elizabeth says after three months of empty promises, they demanded their money back.
But Petersen’s cellphone has since been disconnected, and they have no address for him.
They reported him to police this week.
Captain FC Van Wyk confirmed a charge of theft is being investigated.
“No arrests as yet. The investigation continues,” he says.