The fed-up landlady in Riebeek Kasteel, just outside Malmesbury, tells the Daily Voice she’s had enough of her “lawless” tenant as her health is suffering. Susan Chalmers, 86, says Van Hansen and her husband owes her R40 000 in rent.
On top of that, she was granted a protection order against Van Hansen after the wedding planner allegedly swore at her, broke into her home and damaged her property. The warrant of arrest was issued last Wednesday. The Daily Voice has seen both documents.
Van Hansen has been accused by several brides of scamming them out of thousands of rands after she failed to deliver on her wedding day promises. Instead of refunding her clients, they say Van Hansen keeps their money, citing a “cancellation policy” clause in their contract. In the latest incident, Leandre Jones, 30, said she paid Van Hansen R66 000 for catering and a wedding venue, among other services.
She later found out that not only was the venue not booked, but Van Hansen had been banned from using it by the owners.
“Then I received an affidavit from her then assistant, stating Martinette was not doing any weddings in 2018, she was going to declare bankruptcy,” Leandre said, and she eventually had to organise her own wedding. Van Hansen has refused to reimburse her, claiming Leandre failed to cancel her services, thereby forfeiting her refund.
Susan says she was not surprised to hear of Van Hansen’s other “victims” as she appears to be a “trained skelm (thief)”.
In February, she rented out her home to Van Hansen and her family while she stayed in a converted garage on the property. The rent was R8000 a month, but trouble started that first month, says Susan, a former medical researcher.
“The first month they borrowed monies from someone to pay the rent and I helped them by giving the rent back so they could pay the person. I also helped them out by letting them use my vehicle to get their children to school in Malmesbury,” says Susan.
“I think she is a trained thief. She is so rude. All this stress is making me so sick and I had a heart attack not too long ago. I spent a week in ICU at Tygerberg Hospital.”
She claims Van Hansen broke into her flat to steal her electricity for her catering business: “They have not paid any rent to date. I just want them to move out and leave, but she refuses to.” The pensioner says she tried to lay a charge of theft for the rent, but police told her it was a civil matter and referred her to the Small Claims Court. “I am now awaiting a court date,” she said.
Van Hansen’s husband, Jacques, who was at home, rubbished Susan’s allegations. “This woman is lying. She switches off the electricity,” the angry man said.
Asked about the protection order and warrant of arrest for his wife, he became enraged and said: “If you do not believe me go ask anyone who has lived here before (about Susan). Go speak to my wife.” At Van Hansen’s office in Riebeek Kasteel, a man answered the door and said: “She is here, but does not want to talk to you.”
Andre Traut referred queries of the warrant and protection order to the Department of Justice.