Defrauded Nyanga man refunded after GroundUp reports his story

More than R1,000 was deducted monthly from Odwa Vryman’s salary for furniture he never bought. Photo by Mary-Anne Gontsana.

Mary-Anne Gontsana

15 April 2015

After having half his salary deducted every month for over a year to pay for furniture which he did not buy, a Nyanga man has now been refunded.

GroundUp reported on Odwa Vryman’s struggle in March. More than R1,000 had been deducted from his salary of R3,485 every month since September 2013, to pay off a debt of R11,487.55 on accounts with furniture stores Joshua Doore, Price and Pride and Russells.

Lawyers Flemix & Associates had obtained a court order that the money should be deducted from Vryman’s monthly salary, though Vryman had signed an affidavit at the police station stating that he had no account with any furniture store.

GroundUp received numerous responses to the article, with readers offering advice and help for Vryman. The legal and compliance manager of JD Group Financial Services, Hayley Biljon, investigated the matter after the article was published.

On 13 March, Biljon confirmed to GroundUp via email that the accounts were fraudulent and promised that Vryman would be refunded.

On Friday 10 April, Biljon sent GroundUp documents showing that the court order had been rescinded, Vryman’s credit record had been updated, and the deductions from his salary had been stopped.

Vryman confirmed that he had received his full salary for the month of March, with no deductions. He also confirmed that he had been refunded.

“I got two separate payments last month, one of R6 676,07 and another of R10 029,98. I then received a payment of R590 last week. I am very happy and relieved because this whole thing was stressful. Having to go home after working hard and having half your salary to show for it, was something that really bothered me,” said Vryman.

GroundUp has not been able to establish exactly how much was owed to him. But Biljon said she would attend a meeting on Friday with all the parties involved in the process to make sure that Vryman had received exactly was due to him. She would also keep him informed of the details of the process, she said.