Durban - Durban socialite Rosanne Narandas faces charges of kidnapping for holding three car salesmen against their will after a deal soured.
Narandas is understood to have bought a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG but was unhappy that the mileage was double what she had expected it to be.
When the salesmen refused to drop the price, they allege that Narandas locked them in a garage at her Musgrave home against their will for three hours.
Police and firefighters descended on the property on Thursday to free the men, who had used their cellphones to call for help.
Narandas appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on three counts of kidnapping on Friday before Vanitha Armu, who released Narandas on warning. The case was postponed to March 27 for further investigation.
Speaking to the Sunday Tribune, Narandas said: “The experience has been horrific. I hate the way I have been treated by the police.”
Narandas denied locking the men in her garage. She said they were standing behind the gate where the vehicle was parked. She had said she would keep the vehicle locked up until the matter had been resolved.
“I asked them if they were fine and if I was doing it against their will. They said they were okay with the idea and that they just needed time to resolve the issue. I asked if they wished to wait outside the gate, before locking it.”
Narandas said she later realised she did not have the keys to unlock the gate because the previous owner of the house had them. But by then, the men had already contacted the police.
“I offered to get a locksmith to unlock the gate but the fire department had already used their equipment to unlock it.”
But one of the salesman, Vishal Ramsander, called Narandas a liar.
“We at no point agreed to stay there, she locked us inside and called security to make sure we couldn’t get out.
“I had already given her a R10 000 discount because of the mileage and she wanted R20 000 more and I couldn’t do that,” he said.
According to a police source, Narandas had allegedly refused to surrender herself when police arrived the following morning.
She had insisted on waiting until her lawyer arrived before she made her way to the Berea Detectives Office.
Officers at the police station tried to move photographers away to ensure she was not photographed and even hid her in an unmarked bakkie that took her to court.
Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed that Narandas faces charges of kidnapping.
“It is alleged that the suspect locked them in the premises after a dispute over the purchase price of a motor vehicle. Police were called out and the gates were opened by cutting the lock with a bolt cutter,” he said.