Motor dealer investigated

The Gauteng office of consumer affairs is investigating an allegation of unfair business practice against the owner of De Wit Motors of Union Street in Vereeniging in the Vaal.

The Gauteng office of consumer affairs is investigating an allegation of unfair business practice against the owner of De Wit Motors of Union Street in Vereeniging in the Vaal.

This was after the owner, Hennie de Wit, refused to deliver a vehicle to a client or refund the bulk of the R23000 the buyer has paid.

Pule Manete, the aggrieved consumer, said he bought a bakkie from De Wit Motors in March this year.

He had been retrenched and wanted to earn a living by selling wooden blocks and fruit and vegetables.

Manete liked an Isuzu bakkie that cost R23 000.

Manete paid R22000 and agreed to pay the balance at the end of March, when he would take delivery of his vehicle.

Manete said De Wet told him he would take the vehicle for a roadworthy test and transfer it on to his name.

He said De Wet had two weeks in which to do the roadworthy test and transfer, but when Manete went to collect his bakkie it was not ready.

"It looked as if the vehicle had not moved an inch because it was standing in the same spot as when I first saw it," Manete said.

De Wet told Manete to come back in two weeks.

Manete agreed, but when he came back he was told that the engine had been stolen.

De Wit promised to get Manete another vehicle.

Two weeks later De Wet still did not have the bakkie and then offered Manete another vehicle in its place.

"I declined the offer and asked him to give my money back," Manete said. He added that De Wit took his bank details and promised to transfer the money to his account. He never did.

Manete said: "His failure to deposit my money in my account caused terrible fights between my wife and me. My wife thought I had misused the money."

Manete, accompanied by his wife, went back to demand a refund, but De Wit offered them another bakkie that was on sale. They both declined the offer.

De Wit promised he would deposit their money into their account. Again he did not do so.

Manete tried to enlist the services of an attorney but could not afford his legal fees.

De Wit told Consumer Line thatManete was in breach of contract.

He said for the past six months he had tried to get Manete to accept the original bakkie or any one of three other bakkies, but the customer had refused.

An emotional De Wit said he was no longer willing to deliver the vehicle or refund the money.

He said Manete bought the bakkie "voetstoots" so there was no guarantee, and he had a no-refund policy.

Sam Tebele, head of complaints section of the Gauteng office of consumer affair said their office had a handful of complaints against Hennie Motors and were currently investigating his business practice.

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