AWOL caterer blights wedding

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Basetsana Ntsele wants her money back./ supplied
Basetsana Ntsele wants her money back./ supplied

When Basetsana Ntsele started her wedding preparations in January last year, she did not think it would be spoilt at the last minute.

Ntsele, 29, was forced to hire last-minute caterers, plates, tables and buy flowers after the original caterer sent her a WhatsApp message telling her he was in Mozambique on the morning of her wedding.

Ntsele said she was shocked because she had paid Mthokozisi Ngubane of Great Experience the money he needed for his services.

She said after buying a wedding gown and her 250 guests confirmed they would attend her wedding, she then looked for a caterer.

Ntsele said she found the company, which operates from Pritchard and Eloff streets in Johannesburg, on the internet.

The company promises prospective clients excellent service with its hospitality staff who are strategically recruited, qualified, screened, tested and trained, she said.

It also said the employees it assigns to events are hotel industry veterans, Ntsele said.

Judging by the photos used to market its business, she thought it was professional and called it on the number provided on its web page.

There was no one to answer her call, but she left her contact details so they could call her back as soon as they were available, she said.

When a company representative eventually returned her call, she set up an appointment for a mock service.

She was given a quotation, which included a full meal and desserts, tents, chairs and a DJ, she told Consumer Line.

"I was quoted R66,500 as it also included decoration of the tents. Before the food tasting, I was required to pay 50%, which I duly paid. We were all impressed with the food and presentation," Ntsele said.

She said the balance was paid on December 3 in preparation for the wedding on December 16.

"I was disappointed when I received a WhatsApp message from Ngubane informing me that he will not come for the wedding because he was in Mozambique," Ntsele said.

Ntsele said Ngubane asked her to pay a further R6,500 for flowers and meat as he had no means of transferring money from Mozambique.

The family had to make contributions to buy meat, pay for tents and the DJ for her wedding to be a success, she said.

Ngubane said he relied on his partner Lwazi Mkhosi to deliver the service as he had paid all service providers and bought the groceries.

However, Mkhosi is equally livid, claiming that Ngubane took her for a ride.

"The whole thing has caused me marital problems as I was forced by the situation to take money earmarked for December activities to make up for the mess Mthokozisi created," Mkhosi said.

Ntsele said she was planning to take legal action against Ngubane to get her money back.

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