conman with R1,74 buys r10m MANSION

Featherbrooke Estate.  19/01/2009. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. © Sowetan.
Featherbrooke Estate. 19/01/2009. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. © Sowetan.

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Samson Khaukhani Budeli has less than R2 in his bank account but he signed a deal with a real estate company to buy a mansion worth R10million.

The serial fraudster, who has a paltry R1,74 in his Absa Bank account and always skips bail, has in a period of just four months:

lSigned a deal to purchase a R10 million house;

lDefrauded two holiday lodges;

lStolen a car in Pretoria;

lHas warrants of arrest in three major towns in Gauteng and Limpopo for fraud, possession of stolen property, and theft; and

lHas also paraded himself as a highly respected medical doctor in the employ of Limpopo province.

While in the process of acquiring the luxury home at Featherbrooke Estate on the West Rand, the 35-year-old bogus doctor used two highly-graded holiday lodges on the West Rand as home but did not pay for them.

He is now being sought for defrauding the lodges of thousands of rands between October last year and this month.

A woman at Seeff Properties, who declined to be named, said: "The man was at out offices on Friday and showed our agent an SMS which confirmed that he would receive R27million later this month. The SMS also said he was a medical doctor.

"He had already signed the contract and we were only waiting for him to bring some documents from the bank. We did a reference check and we found out that he only had about R1,74 in his account. We have not heard from him since."

The woman said Budeli had signed a cash-deal contract.

Budeli, who claimed he was a doctor from Siloam Hospital in Nzhelele, Limpopo, booked into the Croco Lodge in Muldersdrift on the West Rand on December 21, a day after he had booked out of La Java Lodge in Krugersdorp.

He had stayed there since October 28.

Budeli was arrested on Friday at the Croco Lodge, the same day he signed the contract with Seeff.

An employee at the Croco Lodge, who spoke to Sowetan on condition of anonymity, said: "When he came here he was wearing a doctor's uniform and carried a briefcase. There was nothing suspicious about him. He said he was a doctor from Limpopo and was in Gauteng to do research at local hospitals.

"He gave us his identity book and residential address which we verified."

The woman said Budeli was staying in a luxury suite and was in the company of a woman he claimed was his wife.

"It turned out the woman was his girlfriend. Accommodation at the luxury suite is R1190 a day for two people sharing including breakfast.

"He said he was going to stay at the lodge for four months and that the department of health in Limpopo would pay."

The woman said Budeli deposited a R11000 cheque on January 3 but it bounced.

"When the cheque was dishonoured by the bank, we asked him for a confirmation letter from the Limpopo health department.

"He gave us a letter saying that the department would pay for his accommodation. A few days later he deposited two R30000 cheques which also bounced.

"We called the hospital but we were told that they did not know him. He had forged Dr Grace Denga's signature who no longer worked at the hospital. That was when we called the police."

La Java Lodge manager Pieter Smith confirmed to Sowetan that Budeli had defrauded the lodge but was reluctant to give details. However, Sowetan worked out that the amount is aboutR28000.

Gauteng police spokesman Inspector Sanku Tsunke said police were investigating anyone else that Budeli might have defrauded.

Tsunke said: "His criminal profile revealed that he is a wanted fraudster and that he was sentenced in Limpopo to two years imprisonment in 2007 for fraud, which was suspended for five years. Budeli also had three warrants of arrest for fraud, possession of stolen property and theft.

"All three warrants were issued in Polokwane, Thohoyandou and Pretoria."

Budeli appeared in the Krugersdorp magistrate's court yesterday.

The case was postponed to next Monday for a bail application.