'Give back cash or car'

MOST attorneys do everything in their power to preserve the sanctity of the profession they serve.

MOST attorneys do everything in their power to preserve the sanctity of the profession they serve.

Then again, there are those who apparently tarnish that image by acting unprofessionally when dealing with clients.

Several months ago Priscilla Mokaila told Sowetan that attorney Godfrey Machimana had fleeced her of her money.

She claimed he had promised to sell her a BMW that he was going to get from a company that was going into liquidation.

She handed over R20 000 but over the past nine months she "has not received the car but only a pack of lies" from Machimana.

Machimana is the attorney who exposed a racially biased Meyerton magistrate last year.

"Machimana was praised for pointing out inconsistencies in the way the magistrate applied the law when dealing with people of different races," said Mokaila.

"He was a friend of mine and I had trusted him. I paid him R20 000 and he has only refunded me R4 000 in dribs and drabs."

Mokaila and her fiancé set up a meeting with Machimana and met at his offices in Rosebank where she says he showed them vehicles that were on sale.

"We chose a BMW 316 and agreed to pay a deposit of R20 000 which was transferred into his Nedbank cheque account.

"He drove us to the bank to do so," she said.

Since that day she has been battling to get the car - or her cash back.

"He once invited us to collect the car, but did not show up.

"My fiancé had to sleep at a nearby hotel, because there was no public transport to ferry him home," said Mokaila.

Machimana also tried to fob them off with another car, she said.

Last November Machimana also promised to refund her after she had approached the Office of Consumer Affairs in North West, she said.

When contacted for comment Machimana told Sowetan that he still "had to sell the vehicle" he had bought for Mokaila.

This contradicted the e-mail he sent to Mokaila in September in which he told her to wait for at least 10 days before he could refund her - because a certain "Carl Billbin" had bought the car in question.

It also contradicted the letter he wrote to Sowetan, promising to pay Mokaila in mid-November last year.

He later agreed to refund Mokaila her balance in two instalments of R8000 and fax his proof of payment to Sowetan, but never did.

The Law Society of the Northern Provinces is investigating the matter.