Advocate suspected of swindling clients of RAF payments lives high life

Mkhabela bought wine worth R50k in 2021

Adv Arnold Mkhabela
Adv Arnold Mkhabela

A Joburg lawyer accused of swindling his clients of their Road Accident Fund (RAF) payments lived a high life and splurged on expensive bottles of wines. 

Standard Bank dragged Adv Arnold Mkhabela to court for failure to settle his debt, which includes two luxury vehicles, a credit card and a business loan. On October 16, the Johannesburg high court ruled against Mkhabela in the matter.

In his heads of arguments, Mkhabela pleaded poverty, which he claimed was worsened by the Covid-19 lockdown. However, court records reveal that over a five-month period between November 2020 and April 2021, Mkhabela splurged R51,813 in nine transactions buying bottles of wines from Wine of the Month Club, an online wine store, using his credit card. 

The largest purchase was for wine worth R21,476 in January 2021 when SA was on lockdown level 3, which had strict alcohol sale rules.

Mkhabela had bought a BMW M850i Convertible for more than R1,2m and by June last year the car had an arrear amount of R26,700. He had also purchased himself a Land Rover Sport 5, which had an arrear amount of R64,800 by February 2022 and an outstanding balance of R402,000. His business loan was behind by R470,000 in January while he owed R73,400 for his credit card in June last year.

He told Sowetan that his debt had nothing to do with allegations made by some of his clients who accused him of stealing from them. 

“My debts are a private matter and I wouldn’t want to dwell on the court issue because I’m challenging the court’s decision. Just wait and see,” said Mkhabela at his offices in the Joburg CBD.

He claimed the accusations against him were as a result of professional jealousy and were instigated by peers who are trying to steal his clients. But he did not want to elaborate on this claim when asked further questions. 

Despite his expensive taste, Mkhabela lives a very private life that is far removed from social media.

His Facebook and Instagram accounts have 20 followers combined and three posts with the last one shared in 2015. His company’s Facebook account has 706 followers and is littered with complaints about his services from people who claim to be his clients. 

“I’ve been trying to close that account for some time because it does not have an administrator and not everyone who comments there is my client,” said Mkhabela.

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