THEY are known as specialists around Soweto when it comes to fixing BMWs.
And everyone took their cars to them.
But instead of just fixing the cars, Kamogelo Matlala (21) annd Otto Hlongwane (31) from Protea North, Soweto are stripping the cars and selling the parts for money.
And they are using the money for drugs and booze.
However, they are now so deep in their drug problem and in debt, and they are asking SunReaders to help them get rehabilitated.
Kamogelo’s uncle, Tebogo Gumede (39), told Daily Sun the duo started by replacing the original car parts with old and rusty ones.
“The owners would be furious and these two would promise to have them fixed, claiming it was a mistake,” he said.
This was in March 2020.
He said things quickly escalated and they started stripping the cars and using the money for drugs and alcohol.
Tebogo revealed that he’s a sangoma and his ancestors showed him what Kamogelo was up to.
When he warned Kamogelo to stop, he denied doing anything wrong.
Tebogo said things got so bad the car owners started threatening their lives and those of their families.
“Kamogelo was called bhut’ Madlisa because of how recklessly he was blowing money.
“In December alone they spent R170 000 on booze and drugs. They were generous and buying beers for everyone,” said Tebogo.
He said they once sold someone’s car for R10 000 and used that money for drugs.
“Right now, they owe five people. One wants R75 000, and the other R45 000.
“The others want R35 000, R55 000 and R18 000,” he said.
As if that’s not enough, he said one of the mechanics allegedly stole R2 000 from his indumba.
“We live in fear because of what they’ve done. We need SunReaders to help us get these men rehabilitated, then we can work on getting the cars fixed. Any donations will also be helpful,” said Tebogo.
Kamogelo said he started stripping cars after he was influenced by some of his friends.
He realised it was making him good money and he couldn’t stop.
“I sometimes do this because some owners take advantage of me being young and refuse to pay,” he said.
Kamogelo added that he started taking crystal meth in 2020 and usually spends R500 to R1 000 per day on it.
“Those whose cars are still intact should fetch them. We ask the rest of our clients to give us some time to deal with the drug issue, then we’ll sort those cars out,” he said.
Otto said he used to be a street vendor and like a lot of people, he was badly affected when Covid-19 hit the country. .
His friend plugged him into fixing cars and they started making money.
“We use that money to buy food and then alcohol and drugs with the rest,” said Otto.
“But we want to turn our lives around because we can see how badly this has turned out and how we’ve put our families in danger,” he said.
None of the mechanics’ clients have opened cases against them. One of their clients, Muntu Mnguni (40), said almost every part of his car was stripped three years ago. He said this really hurt his feelings.
“I told them to pay me R18 000 and there’s still R10 000 remaining,” said Muntu.
“I hope they get help and find a way to pay people their monies because they won’t alway find someone as patient as me,” he said.