Ferrari’s jailed owner living in fear
Johannesburg - A red Ferrari landed a businessman in jail and led to charges being levelled against a Joburg car restorer and Brett Kebble’s killer, Mikey Schultz.
The Ferrari F430 Spider, worth more than R3 million, belonged to Joburg petrol station owner Alimed Farouk Hajat.
Hajat fell behind on the payments for the luxury vehicle, and BMW Financial Services won a Pretoria High Court case last month to have the car returned to them.
But Hajat, in an affidavit, said he could not return the Ferrari because he had given it to a friend, car restorer Raymond “Razor” Barras, who in turn had given it to Schultz. Hajat said Schultz refused to return the car and had allegedly demanded money to give the Ferrari back.
The Pretoria High Court then issued an arrest warrant on Hajat for contempt of court because the vehicle had not been returned to BMW.
The warrant was for Hajat to serve 30 days’ imprisonment. He is busy serving the sentence.
Pretoria-based private investigator Mike Bolhuis has been looking into the case, and enlisted the help of IRS Forensic Investigations.
Chad Thomas, from IRS, said he had met Hajat and made an affidavit naming notorious Joburg “gangsters”.
“One of the people he mentions in his affidavit is a self-confessed murderer. The big question that remains unanswered is why would Hajat voluntarily hand over an expensive Ferrari for no apparent reason? There is definitely more to this story,” said Thomas.
Bolhuis said Hajat was arrested in Pretoria on Monday.
“Right now he fears for his life and he fears for his family’s life,” said Bolhuis.
On the day of his arrest, Hajat opened a case of using a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.
In an affidavit, Hajat explained that he and his family owned several petrol stations, restaurants and clothing stores in Joburg. He said he had no storage for the Ferrari as he has an extended family with many vehicles.
“I agreed to allow the Ferrari to be displayed at a shop belonging to a friend of mine, Raymond Barras, known commonly as ‘Razor’.
Razor’s shop built muscle cars and the Ferrari on display would be a drawcard to his shop,” Hajat said in the affidavit.
He said that at the end of 2011, he closed his petrol station in Oaklands for renovations and contacted BMW Financial Services to tell them he would not be making payments on the Ferrari for a short while.
“I later sold the renovated petrol station but fell into dispute with the new owner.”
Hajat said this led to his creditors liquidating the business, which was the entity he had a finance agreement with for the Ferrari.
He had heard that Razor “had allowed Michael Donovan Schultz, known commonly as Mikey Schultz, to take my Ferrari”.
Hajat said in the affidavit that he told Razor of the court order and was told that “the only way he or Mikey would return the vehicle to me is if I paid Mikey a sum of R450 000”.
The businessman then said the amount of money demanded changed frequently, and went up to R800 000.
He claimed the suspects in the case were known to be dangerous and he was afraid for the safety of his life and the lives of his family.
Barras told The Star he had no idea why Hajat would open a case against him.
“He owes the bank money, so he is hiding the car away,” said Barras.
He asked why someone who owned a Ferrari would give it to someone else to display it in their shop.
“Besides, my shop is underground in a basement underneath a factory in the Joburg CBD. So how could I display a car?” Barras said.
Several calls and SMSes over a number of days to Schultz went unanswered.