Late Minority Front leader Amichand Rajbansi’s iconic wig has been stolen.
Police confirmed that a Rajbansi family member reported the theft, believed to have taken place at the family residence this week.
Rajbansi’s wife, Shameen, declined to comment on the incident, but a source close to the family said that the Rajbansis were “shocked” by the theft. It is also believed that the incident has heightened tensions within the family who are squabbling over the contents of the former sports MEC’s will.
“We are investigating the matter. We are not sure at this point if it is a burglary or a theft. We believe that the wig was locked in a safe. There were no signs of forced entry,” said police spokeswoman April Unamanga.
Unamanga could not confirm if any of the Rajbansi family members were suspects in the matter.
“Whoever stole the wig would be motivated by money. It is possible that they would try to sell the wig. Mr Rajbansi was a well-known personality and there are likely to be people who would be interested in buying items that belonged to him,” she said.
Police have said online classifieds such as the Gumtree website will be closely monitored as well as eBay, which has become a popular platform for the sale of celebrity memorabilia and personal items, including wigs.
American artist Andy Warhol’s wig sold for $125 800 (R900 000) on eBay in 2006, the wig late actress Elizabeth Taylor wore in the film Cleopatra sold for $1.3 million in 2009, while in 2010 a wig belonging to John Travolta sold for $1.4m and one belonging to Burt Reynolds fetched $2.6m online.
Rajbansi’s wig, if sold online, could fetch up to R1.1m, according to eBay.
“Celebrity wigs are big money,” said eBay marketing director for Europe and Africa, Oloris Plof. “I have not heard of Rajbansi, but he was a local celebrity so there is potential for a big sale.
“We had a case of a wig belonging to a Norwegian porn star who wasn’t well-known outside of his village being bought for about $160 000.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Rajbansi’s wig gets the same or even more.”
Police have meanwhile urged members of the public to contact them if they are approached to purchase the stolen wig. - Masood Boomgaard
Please note that this is an April Fool's Day story and should not be taken seriously.