Patricia van Wyk, 68, says she and her husband, John, approached a woman at their church to do the catering for John’s big day.
They say Amelia Robertse agreed and they paid her R7 300, which included a starter of haddock and salads, a main course of roast chicken, meat in gravy, rice and two hot veg, as well as cheesecake for dessert, “luxuries” for the tables and the decor.
The party was held at Garlandale High School hall in Athlone on 20 October and 40 guests were invited.
Patricia says the family also spent an additional R3 000 on new clothes and the birthday cake.
But when they arrived at the hall, the tables were empty and there were no sweets or starters.
The angry grandmother says she quickly collected a R700 from relatives to buy serviettes and sweets for the tables.
“I trusted her because we attend the same Pinkster church in Tafelsig. She is a senior leader, my moederleier,” says Patricia.
“The people started coming to me with the food, I was so embarrassed, I began to cry.
“I told her to buy the chicken at County Fair in Epping but she bought vrot (rotten) chicken.
“The potatoes were wrapped in foil and when you opened it, it was black. The rice was so pap (rice was so overcooked) that the water ran out of it.”
She also paid Amelia an extra R300 for seafood to serve their Rastafarian guests, which she said looked like dog food.
“My husband’s friends are Rastas and they do not eat meat,” she explains.
“I told her to make a seafood dish and I was literally in tears because they brought the food to me and it was just pap (overcooked) rice with orange pieces floating in it, it looked like hondekos (dog food).”
And for dessert, instead of cheesecake, guests were served a dry muffin without custard, because “she forgot the custard at home”.
Patricia says some guests were even left hungry after Amelia apparently made a barakat (doggy bag) for herself.
“Some of my children didn’t even have chicken and only 22 guests arrived so there should have been more than enough food,” says Patricia.
“The juice was Fruitree Orange Squash.
“The party was supposed to end at 6 pm but we were home at 5.30pm already, as there was no dessert or starter.”
Amelia claims she apologised to the family and reimbursed them.
“The food was fine and I gave the family R1 000 back. I also apologised,” she said.
But Patricia says this money was never paid.