Well, the Umsenge Nguni cattle auction which was held last Thursday dished up more than beautiful cattle and high prices! A well thought out scam was foiled by some quick thinking from the Hobson & Co team and a huge slice of luck.
The auction was already nearly finished when a buyer by the name of Kobus Deyzel arrived claiming to having got lost on the way to the sale. He said that he was told the sale yard was near the golf course and had ended up near Port Alfred as he had been directed to the new golf course. He registered quickly and told the office staff he would complete the necessary documentation later as he needed to buy cattle. The prices suddenly went up a notch as “buyer 35” climbed into the other buyers who needed to fill their trucks and all the sellers were desperate to know who their next best friend was. Shortly before the end of the sale he stopped buying, asked for the amount he owed and said he was quickly going to the bank to transfer the money. When he arrived back at the auction yard he was almost mobbed by the delighted sellers and was thanked profusely for his interest in the cattle. He claimed to be from Steytlerville and knew all the local farmers there- even quoting names and farms. The new found fame seemed to go to his head and “Mr. Deyzel” started socializing with the crowd and the stories he told various groups of people became very far fetched! Some of his exploits included receiving a R50 000 tip from Princess Anne when he was her personal bodyguard, buying an Angora goat ram for R90 000, brokering the sale of the Edward Hotel in Port Elizabeth for 126 million dollars and personally counting the cash.
He insisted that his cattle be transported immediately but the auctioneers insisted on proof of payment which he immediately produced. The cattle were duly loaded and Mr Deyzel said his tearful goodbyes to his new best friends and left having purchased 22 cattle and a few Nguni hides which he quite fancied- promising to pay Mrs Leonie Yendall the next day for them.
The Hobson & Co staff at last sat down to have a relaxing drink and discuss a very successful sale when all these amazing stories about “buyer 35” began to surface and the alarm bells began to ring. A phone call to the bank manager confirmed that the deposit slip was fraudulent, a phone call to a local Steytlerville farmer showed that no Kobus Deyzel farmed there and his farm Wolwekop did not exist and a certain Marius Deyzel had successfully got away with a similar scam in the area. Fortunately the cattle had been loaded on a Hobson & Co truck and it was instructed to return to Grahamstown under the pretext that the wrong cattle had been loaded and an absolute disaster was averted. This brazen criminal still had the cheek to then ask to have the cattle delivered the next day but when he realized that the game was up he disappeared into thin air and his telephone number no longer exists. Nobody saw what vehicle he arrived in but he is very recognizable, being very tall, slightly overweight, wears black rimmed glasses and apparently always wears khaki clothes.
The joke at Hobson & Co now is that liquor saved the company 100’s of thousands of rand because if “Mr Deyzel” had just picked up his invoice and left we would have been none the wiser until the next morning.
So to all you farmers out there who wonder why you pay commission- now you know! Your agent is at risk every time a deal is done and your payment is guaranteed. “Mr Deyzel”- enjoy your Nguni skins! I think you should ply your trade elsewhere but you are a marked man in Grahamstown.
|Type of Stock||No of Stock||Average Price||Top Price|
|Cows & Calves (3-in-1)||13||R11153.85||R15000|
|Cows & Calves||7||R9714.29||R11000|
|Pregnant Heifers (6mths +)||39||R9314.10||R13750|
|Pregnant Heifers (3-6mths)||16||R8937.50||R11000|
|Heifers (Running with Bull)||19||R6815.79||R11250|