A wealthy La Lucia woman, alleged to have deprived a gardener of almost R60 million, which his late employer had apparently bequeathed to him, and two lawyers are facing fraud, forgery, theft and money laundering charges.
The accused – Adline Pillay, and attorneys, Rodney Reddy and P Ramjathan, made their first appearance in the Durban Commercial Crime Court on Thursday.
They were ordered to return to the dock again on 4 February.
The state has alleged that Pillay had orchestrated the R60 million scam and had left Sabelo Mdlovu, a gardener, with only R600 000.
Pillay and the late Charlotte Davies, who passed away six years ago were neighbours in Homeford Drive, La Lucia. It is alleged that Pillay had forged the executrix signatures, and had wrongfully assumed control of the deceased’s vast estate.
Daies’s late husband was a diamond dealer in Johannesburg.
The Durban High Court has frozen Pillay’s home in La Lucia, believed to be worth R6 million after the Asset Forfeiture Unit launched an application to attach it. More than R2,3 million held in a Standard Bank account was also frozen.
According to papers filed in the Durban High Court by the unit, Mdlovu had asked Pillay to assist him with the funeral arrangements as Davies had no relatives in South Africa.
Mdlovu alerted police and Pillay to a safe in the house. The unit alleged that after the safe was opened, a will, a few loose papers and old spoons were discovered inside.
“Pillay and Mdlovu went to Rodney Reddy & Associates who were the attorneys that had prepared the will. The last Will and Testament of Davies was signed in Durban on 21 January 2010,” the unit claimed.