UP TO TRICKS: Arno Southey
Cape Town - A mom’s surprise for her teen daughter’s birthday party went up in smoke after the magician she hired did a disappearing act with her money.

The single mom from Gordon’s Bay believes he never planned to do the party, as a few days earlier, he told her he’d been hijacked and robbed.

Halima Osman says she’s been trying to get her R1700 back from Arno Southey from Parow for two weeks, but says he keeps making up excuses.

“I was planning my daughter’s 13th birthday party (for Sunday, 2 September) and posted on Facebook looking for help.

“Arno commented on the post and told me to check his Facebook page, Dikkelicious Entertainment and Events.”

She says Arno was within her budget and she paid for a magic show, photo booth, popcorn and candy floss machines.

PROOF: Halima's receipt

She says Arno kept asking her to deposit the money and then called to say he was in the area and can collect the cash.

“I thought it was great, less hassles and I could meet him personally. He is so smooth but soon after I paid him, things went south,” Halima says.

“The Wednesday before the party, he told me he got hijacked, tazed and gunpointed and his body was sore.

“The Friday he tells me his candy floss machine and photo booth were stolen.

“I immediately knew something was wrong, but still he insisted he was going ahead with the party.

“I asked him to reimburse me for the items he does not have and he agreed.”

She says they expected Arno to appear by 2pm, but he was a no-show, spoiling her child’s party.

“And now he is giving me the runaround and making empty promises. I went to SAPS to open a case, but they referred me to the Small Claims Court.

“I would like to get my money back, but I am doing this so people can know who he is and he can stop scamming others.

DEMAND: Texts with Arno

The Daily Voice contacted Arno and asked him about Halima’s allegations, but he abruptly hung up.

Further investigations also revealed Arno has a website and another Facebook page called Magic of Arno Southey.

Numerous complaints had been lodged against him on consumer website Hello Peter.

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