Spa owner accused of school scam

Thabitha Malinga is accused of scamming a group of Tembisa students of their school fees paid into her unregistered beauty school.
Thabitha Malinga is accused of scamming a group of Tembisa students of their school fees paid into her unregistered beauty school.
Image: SUPPLIED

A popular spa owner is being investigated after she allegedly scammed a group of Tembisa students of their school fees paid into her unregistered beauty school.

Thabitha Malinga from Tembisa in Ekurhuleni is the owner of the famous Thabie Mobile Spa and TMS Beauty Academy.

She made headlines after her business took off last year after making appearances on TV shows and numerous newspapers.

Police have confirmed investigating Malinga’s Beauty school after a group of students laid complaints at the Rabasotho police station in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.

Police spokesperson Constable Patricia Mgijima said: “We have started our own investigation on the matter to prevent more victimisation of more students by the school”.

The students alleged that they paid more than R9000 each, for short beauty courses that were meant to help them start their own businesses.

When Sowetan approached Malinga for comment this week, she refused to comment and later asked for questions to be sent to her by e-mail which she also did not respond to.

“If you have a story write about me, just make sure you have the facts or else you will face the consequences. Stay away from me,” Malinga said.

Boitswarelo Molefe, 28, one of the students enrolled at TMS Academy, told Sowetan she was left stranded after leaving her job as a cashier at a petrol station.

“I took my pension fund after resigning from work and paid Thabitha R9050 hoping to change my life,” Molefe said.

But Molefe’s was in an unfortunate situation after she realised a few weeks into the course that her dreams would not come true.

“The school is run at her spa and we were told that we would be attending classes until we graduate but it was all a lie,” Molefe said.

When she confronted Malinga about the school’s study material, books and even manuals for learning, she allegedly became aggressive. “Malinga said we must just carry on with practical work, the manuals would follow.”

Molefe said after two weeks of waking up everyday to attend classes, they had to bring their own note pads to take notes when Malinga spoke . “The whole thing was happening in a dining room at the spar,” said Molefe.

“We then went to the police and reported the matter and we were referred to the Tembisa small claims court to get letters of demand so she can refund us our money,” she said.

Molefe said she now has to look for a job to feed her two children and help her mother.

“I am very angry and bitter because this lady scammed us,” Molefe said.

She added: “When she said she can change our lives we believed her.”

Another student, who did not want to be named, said: “We just want our money because we have no certificates and no lessons.”

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