The owner of a Fish Hoek business that installs fireplaces faces three charges of theft after he was arrested on Wednesday July 20, for allegedly taking deposits from customers and not supplying their fireplaces.
The owner of Fireplace & Chimney Co., Djamile “Jim” Rossouw, made a brief appearance in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday July 21 and was released on R5 000 bail.
His company advertised a promotion on Facebook last year for fireplaces which required an 80% deposit. According to The Real Hello Peter South Africa’s Facebook page and Google reviews, many customers had paid their deposits and are still waiting for their fireplaces to be installed (“Fireplace business has customers fuming,” Echo July 14).
The court heard that the first charge was for a fireplace that had been ordered in April. An amount of R12 352 had been paid and the fireplace was due to be installed on June 1. After several postponements to install the fireplace, the customer requested a refund and was promised the refund by July 9.
The second charge was for the order of three fireplaces in May. A deposit of R94 673.60 had been paid and after several delays and excuses, the customer requested a refund.
The third charge was for a fireplace that had been ordered in May and a deposit of R15 192 had been paid. When the installation did not materialise, the customer requested a refund which was promised for June 19 but had not been paid.
The court heard that since Mr Rossouw’s arrest, several other cases in other jurisdictions had been linked to him.
The State indicated that Mr Rossouw had no previous convictions or outstanding warrants and it was not opposed to releasing him on R10 000 bail.
Mr Rossouw’s lawyer, Naven Pillay, told the court that Mr Rossouw had not been earning an income for several months and that he had “limited funds”.
Mr Pillay said he could afford R2 000 bail.
His bail was set at R5000 and the case was postponed to Tuesday September 20 for further investigation.
Outside court, investigating officer Warrant Officer Detective Joe Scheepers said that since Mr Rossouw’s arrest, two more cases had been opened with Fish Hoek police and several other cases had been opened in other precincts.