Durban - “I trusted them, I trusted my daughters.”
These were the words of 57-year-old Zora Bee Khan, when she took the stand in the Durban Regional Court this week and gave evidence against her two daughters, whom the unemployed widow says fleeced her out of more than R2 million.
“I never believed they would do this to me,” an emotional Khan told magistrate Anand Maharaj.
Anisa Sayed and Zaahidah Khan were arrested and charged with 27 counts of fraud.
The State alleges in the wake of their father’s 2015 death, they offered to help their mother with her financial affairs.
Khan had large amount of money in her bank accounts and her daughters apparently offered to “monitor” these “for any potential thefts or fraud from her two biological sons (their brothers)”.
The State says the sisters convinced Khan to sign up for internet banking and hand over her passwords.
“Thereafter, both accused had transferred various amounts in the total sum of R2006 857.”
During the 40th day prayer for her deceased husband, Khan said her daughters phoned her and told her she had to go with them to the banks “to sort out papers”.
She said they took her to three banks where she and her husband held accounts, and signed her up for internet banking.
She said she was not given any documents.
Khan told the court she never heard from her daughters after that. Then some months later, she received a text message from one of the banks to say there was no more money in her account.
She tried to phone her daughters, but they did not pick up.
The sisters’ lawyer, Siven Samuels, on Wednesday put it to Khan that aspects of her evidence were contradictory in nature.
For one, he said, she claimed she spoke to her daughters after a sum of money was deposited into one of her accounts.
But bank records showed this sum was deposited after the 40th day prayer for Khan’s husband, Samuels said, and she had told the court she never spoke to her daughters after that day.
The matter has been adjourned until next year, for further investigations.