Cassim Ahmed, 74, shows the incomplete structure. CREDIT: Manqoba Ngidi

This man will have an ugly shell of a house for Eid after a building contractor failed to finish the job and allegedly “stole” R80 000 from him.

Cassim Ahmed, 74, from Vanguard Estate, says he thought he could trust Ebrahim Isaacs from E.Isaacs Construction “who portrayed himself as a religious man”.

Cassim says in February, he hired Isaacs to build a double storey for his daughter in his backyard.

But now he has to spend an extra R60 000 to fix the mess the contractor left behind, and dig even deeper into his pocket to finish the house.

“He always spoke about his religion and how his dream is to go on pilgrimage,” says Cassim.

He says to date he has paid the contractor R240 000, via bank transfer, for building materials and labour, of which R160 000 was used.

But he fired Isaacs in June when he “started diverting from the building plans, brought second-hand building materials and used unreliable people to work on site”.

“This did not sit well with me and I put him off the site,” says Cassim.

Explaining the missing R80 000, Cassim says: “R60 000 was supposed to be for the roof, but I’m not sure what the extra R20 000 was for.”

“When I approached him and asked about the money, he said he was sorry and he used it.”

When the Daily Voice spoke to Ebrahim Isaacs, 53, he rubbished the claims and said: “I would never ever do that. I’m trying my best to live my life to be an honest Muslim.”

“He’s got financial problems, he can’t pay me. That R80 000 was the value of work I have done. He has no idea of the cost of things today, now he’s bad-mouthing me.”

But Cassim says he has documents and bank statements to back up his claims.

“I even tried to lay criminal charges against Ebrahim, but Athlone SAPS told me it’s a civil matter and I should consult a lawyer.”

Police Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut has advised Cassim to speak to the Athlone police station commander, who must determine whether criminal charges could be brought against Isaacs.