Cape Town - About three weeks have passed since Cape Town businessman Ismail Rajah was kidnapped outside his construction business, and although police have yet to find him or make arrests, his family are maintaining their silence.
Police said Rajah was abducted by two armed men who arrived at his Parow business in an Audi Q7. They then sped off towards De la Rey Road.
It emerged that Rajah’s company, Good Hope Plasterers, trading as Good Hope Construction, was in financial trouble. Documents seen by the Cape Argus state the company applied for business rescue last year.
On August 25, 2021, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission of SA confirmed it had received notice to start business rescue proceedings.
Good Hope Plasterers was taken to the Western Cape High Court by construction company Aecom, which wanted it placed under provisional liquidation.
Aecom had, in 2012, appointed Good Hope Plasterers to do construction work in Manenberg, and in 2014 the two companies negotiated the extent of the work initially agreed upon, according to the documents.
Aecom and Good Hope Plasterers were involved in claims and counter claims about monies owed.
In one document, Good Hope Plasterers claimed it was owed more than R3.9 million, while Aecom claimed it was owed about R14.8 million, but wanted to have Good Hope Plasterers’ R3.9 million deducted from the R14.8 million, and for it to cough up the balance.
Also in a document, Good Hope Plasterers’ director, Raziek Rajah, stated the business was financially distressed due to, among others, the catastrophic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. To avoid favouring one creditor over another, it elected to go for business rescue. The business still had great prospects, Rajah stated. Good Hope Plasterers had a raft of multimillion-rand projects halted due to the pandemic, he stated.
Meanwhile, Ismail Rajah’s family would not be drawn on whether his kidnappers had contacted them or demanded a ransom.
Raziek Rajah said yesterday: “We request the media to respect our privacy. We will not be answering any questions relating to my father’s kidnapping. We humbly request you to respect our current position.”
Asked for an update, police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said: “Kindly be advised that the matter is still under investigation, and the search continues. No arrests have been made.”
Rajah’s kidnapping was the latest high profile kidnapping in the city.
* In 2019, Giant Sweets owner Mohammed Noor Karriem was abducted outside his Epping shop.
* In July 2018, Foodprop Group founder Liyaqat Parker was kidnapped and returned to his family two months later.
* In July 2017, Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed was snatched from outside his Salt River fabric business.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop anonymously at 08600 10111 or via the MySAPSApp.