The Sitholes of Alexandra, Johannesburg, are losing thousands of rands from their transport business while the owners of MacMurray Auto, trading as Cars Management, allegedly settle personal scores.
Cynthia Sithole said they had paid the full purchase price when they bought their second-hand Toyota Quantum in November last year.
Their vehicle has been parked at the garage, instead of making money for them on the road.
"We make R16000 a month with the vehicle we have and could make even more with the Toyota Quantum because it carries more passengers," said Sithole.
The vehicle has no [licence] disc and has not been transferred into the Sitholes' name. When they bought the car for R180000 cash they did not want to incur unnecessary interest.
Three months later they now regret having bought the vehicle and don't know when it will be registered in their name.
The vehicle is a panel van and they had windows and seats fitted, which cost another R30000.
When the refit was complete they discovered they could not register the van in their name because they were never given the original documents to do so.
The titleholder is still Nedbank because the first buyer, or Cars Management, never settled the debt.
The Sitholes have been miserable since December and are worried the real owner could attach the Quantum or report it stolen.
Cars Management has ignored Cynthia Sithole's calls and no one wants to explain how she is indebted to Nedbank after having paid the full asking price.
"We have lost so much business since December and I don't think we will ever recover," she said. "The insurance can't even compensate us if there is an accident, because we do not have proof that we own the car."
Cars Management has not responded to Consumer Line's correspondence, but an employee who did want to be identified, said the owners had had bitter fights and were now taking their "war" to court.
The employee said the Sitholes were not the only clients affected, but was hoping they would get their papers as soon as the owners' differences had been resolved.