No refund yet for widow - Toyota is giving her the runaround on R65k payment

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Sthembile Mpungose took over her husband's business.
Sthembile Mpungose took over her husband's business.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi

When Sthembile Mpungose's husband died after he was involved in a fatal road accident, she had to step into his shoes and take over his taxi-operating business.

But, Mpungose said, she spent the past six years hiding from other taxi rivals who want her husband's cars.

This has not allowed her to carry out her duties as an executor of her late husband's property, she said.

Mpungose said she fled to KwaZulu-Natal in 2013 and only came back in 2017 to attend to the dissolution of her husband's estate as there was no one else to do it.

She has also not operated as a taxi owner as the industry has blocked her from operating, she said.

Mpungose said in trying to disburse her husband's property, she discovered that he paid a deposit of R65,000 for a Toyota Quantum he intended buying from Toyota Imperial in Kempton Park.

Her husband paid a further R8,000 for a car tracker, Mpungose said.

But when she approached the dealership, she discovered that Toyota had released the car to another taxi owner, she said.

They refused to refund her the deposit her husband paid, though the dealership was aware that he never collected the vehicle he was buying, Mpungose said.

"Toyota has acknowledged that my late husband never collected the car, but are dilly-dallying about refunding his money," Mpungose said.

She said she showed them her letter of appointment as an executor, in vain.

"Though I opened the deceased estate account, it was subsequently closed by my attorney after we fought over money paid into the deceased estate account," Mpungose said.

"There was an insurance money paid into the deceased estate account which the lawyer squandered before closing the account."

Desiree Wiseman, a Toyota Imperial dealer principal, confirmed that Mpungose's late husband paid the R65,500 deposit in December 2012.

Wiseman said they could not refund the money directly to Mpungose as they expected it to be paid into the deceased's estate account.

Consumer Line has subsequently provided Toyota with documents of the closed estate account and the reason why they should consider paying it into Mpungose's account.

It does not look like Mpungose will receive her late husbands money soon.

Wiseman, who has now left the dealership leaving Mpungose's matter to be attended to by the new dealer principal Michelle Rautenbach.

Rautenbach declined to comment on this matter.

Duties of an executor

An executor is responsible for the distribution of the deceased property to the beneficiaries and to get information on potential heirs.

If you are appointed as an executor you are also expected to pay all the debts that the deceased had.

The important documents your family or executor will need to access urgently are your will, marriage certificate, life insurance policies, your investments and proof of ownership of assets.

They will also need your tax returns and contact details of the human resources department of your employer. - Source LegalWise

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