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Couple fight bank over ‘fraudulent’ property deal

Suthentira Govender The Times
Couple fight bank over ‘fraudulent’ property deal

A Durban couple have asked the high court to overturn a debt judgment in favour of Standard Bank on a R3.2-million coastal property they claim they never bought.

Retired businessman and chairman of the Sparks Road mosque Mahomed Khan and his wife, Zulaigha, want the Durban High Court to rescind a judgment granted to Standard Bank last December and to stop the imminent auction of the disputed property.

They claim that documents relating to the sale of the home at 33 Valley View Road, Amanzimtoti, are false.

In court papers, Khan said he and his businesswoman wife were shocked when they were served with an order of attachment.

Standard Bank secured a debt judgment against them as well as an order declaring the property executable.

Khan said he and his wife had never signed an agreement of sale or mortgage bond agreement with Standard Bank.

“It became immediately apparent to us that our signatures to all relevant documents — including the agreement of sale, power of attorney, transfer duty declarations and home loan application — were forged.”

The couple instructed their attorneys to investigate and opened a fraud case at the Berea police station.

They have fingered a former accountant as the culprit, claiming he had access to their personal information, including identity documents.

“We had never authorised him to buy the property on our behalf.”

Khan said Standard Bank had refused to rescind the judgment and wanted to proceed with the sale in execution, “to the substantial detriment” of the couple.

He said the “erroneous judgment” against them had caused “irreparable damage” to their creditworthiness and ability to conduct business.

“The loss is incalculable if the judgment is not rescinded.”

Their attorney, Mohammed Moola, said: “Our clients are the victims here. It appears that fraud has been perpetrated. It is certainly not my clients’ signatures on the documents.”

John Allan, Standard Bank’s attorney, said in court papers that he had been instructed to oppose the Khans’ application.

He said if the sale in execution was stayed, the bank would be prejudiced, as the interest on the bond was about R34000 a month.

“It is submitted that the Khans cannot suffer harm if the property is sold in execution as, according to their version, they are not the owners and are not responsible for the debt.”

He said once the property had been sold, the issue of their liability or not could be resolved between themselves, Standard Bank and the accountant.

The matter will resume on Wednesday.


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