Cape Town - A luxurious Cape Town hotel has taken a UK businessman to court after he staged a protest outside the premises against the “bad service” he received.
According to UK national Amir Ahmed, staff at the Taj hotel on Wale Street stole goods from him worth over R1 million.
He says the thief, a butler, was fired but his items were not recovered, and when he asked management to reimburse him, they refused and staff have been treating him and his wife badly ever since, including serving them pork and serving them with an eviction letter.
On Sunday, 11 November, the 43-year-old tied a banner in front of the five-star Taj hotel with the words: “Do not stay at the Taj Cape Town. Bad guest service, valuables go missing, incompetent management, no communication and will not resolve problems.”
He also employed a number of people to distribute pamphlets and wearing T-shirts slamming the Taj.
The hotel management turned to the Cape High Court on Thursday to get an interdict against him, which was granted.
Ahmed, who owns several steel companies in various countries, tells the Daily Voice he wants his money, an apology and for the Taj head office in India to look into the matter.
He says the drama started in 2016 when he rented a suite for two months, at a cost of £15 000 (R270 000).
He says during this stay, his £70 000 (R1.2m) wristwatch, two Gucci jackets each worth R125 000, and a bracelet his mother had given to him when he started university went missing.
He says he lodged a complaint and it was discovered that the butler had stolen the items.
“My lawyer was at the hotel several times to set up meetings with the management, but he got nowhere. I sent them emails reminding them of the incident and got no response.”
He returned to Cape Town in May 2018 and booked in at the Taj again.
In July, he finally met “with a very aggressive new general manager, Mark Wernich,” and he recorded the meeting.
On the recording a man can be heard saying: “We are not going to go over this again. I took instruction from head office and we have a hotel to run. I am not going to listen to anything.”
Ahmed says it was after this meeting that they were allegedly served pork during Ramadaan.
“My wife bit into her burger and was horrified to discover it was pork. She wears hijab and the staff already know us. This was maliciously done,” the very upset man says. “And we were evicted the next day.”
The couple, who does not have any children, have since moved into a house in Camps Bay and will stay until the matter is resolved.
The Daily Voice contacted the Taj Cape Town and received this response: “We have sought a legal recourse for an appropriate resolution on this matter and hence will not be able to comment further at this time.”