Money or the box? Bank tries to dodge paying out heist victims ...

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Money or the box? Bank tries to dodge paying out heist victims in full

Attorney points out there was much evidence pointing to negligence by FNB before and during a Parktown robbery

Consumer journalist

It’s been more than two years since I last wrote about the safety deposit box heists at three Johannesburg branches of First National Bank in late 2016 and early 2017. But I think of those victims a lot, having spoken to many of them and heard their voices crack on telling me how devastated they were to be the ones to lose family heirlooms; betraying the trust of their parents and grandparents and denying their own children their right to inherit.

For most of them, the stolen goods’ sentimental value was far greater than their significant financial value. In September 2018, 60 of those victims issued summons, claiming a total of R121m for 2,000 missing items, from Rolex and Omega watches to gold and diamond jewellery and Krugerrands.

Bob and Nalini Naicker of Fourways had entrusted to their box a 22-carat gold jewellery collection worth several million rand‚ the most precious and valuable possessions of three generations of their family. Praful Patel of Robertsham’s list of losses‚ totalling more than R2m‚ included jewellery worth R95,000‚ given to his wife on their wedding day...

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