Priscilla Anthony, 58, says in March, she found an advertisement for a driving school in her local community newspaper.
She says she was determined to achieve her goal of getting her driver’s licence before she hit 60.
“I needed an automatic vehicle as I have a slight limp because I had polio, and I saw an advertisement in the newspaper in March and made contact with Rudi Cornellesin,” she says.
She says she paid R4 000 for two packages of 10 lessons each from money she had saved up from her Sassa grant.
“I wanted to get as many classes as I could because my learner’s licence expires in January next year and I didn’t want to take any chances,” Priscilla explains.
She says she heard Rudi say that he had an office in Schaapkraal, but he usually picked her up at home for lessons.
“In May, I had to get another package as Rudi told me I needed 10 more classes, but I only paid R1 800 as he owed me two classes,” she says.
“But then I smelled a rat because he was so eager for me to pay him.
“During the lessons, which were done with a blue Hyundai i10, he brought along a pregnant woman whom he said was his wife.
“He knew I was vulnerable and he took advantage of me,” says Priscilla, who works at a store at the V&A Waterfront.
She says in May, after she paid the money, he started avoiding her when she tried to arrange her lessons.
“His first excuse when we had to start with the new lessons was that his wife went into labour. That’s understandable so I didn’t mind.
“Then it was two weeks, three weeks. When I call him he doesn’t answer.
“He SMSed me saying he had refunded me. For over a month I was up and down to the bank to check but nothing was in my account.”
Priscilla says she made a case against Cornellesin at the Small Claims Court to try and get her money back.
They were supposed to appear at the court in Cape Town on 2 July, but he didn’t pitch and a letter of demand has now been dispatched for Cornellesin to pay back the money.
“That’s a lot of money to lose and I work hard for my money,” Priscilla says.
“I just want to expose him. But he will not dampen my spirit.
“I recently started with a new driving school and they’re great.”
The Daily Voice tried to contact Rudi Cornellesin on the cellphone number provided by Priscilla since Sunday, but the device was switched off.
He did not respond to voicemail messages while SMS messages didn’t go through.
He is also no longer active at his driving school’s premises in Schaapkraal.