BLF leader accused of stealing painting

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An Eastern Cape artist who “sold” a painting for R1,800 to Black First Land First provincial chair Mawethu Ngxishe travelled more than 80km to withdraw the money – only to find out the politician had only deposited R50.
Fikile Jonas, 59, who rents a two-roomed house at Ngxishe’s rural home in Hamburg, said the BLF leader had promised to transfer the money via the Shoprite money market late last month.
However, Jonas, who borrowed R50 to travel from Hamburg to East London – a distance of 83.6km – was shocked when he was told only R50 had been deposited.
The two had reached an agreement over the artwork, which depicts rural life in the Eastern Cape, and because Jonas says Ngxishe had promised him more business, he gave him a discount of R1,000.
“I thought if I drop the painting price, I am building relations for other jobs.
“So I gave him the painting for a lower price,” Jonas said.
The politician did not deny making the deal with Jonas, but vehemently denied not honouring the agreement.
He has since offered to return the painting.
But on Monday, shortly after opening a case of theft with false pretence against Ngxishe, Jonas told the Daily Dispatch that he does not want the painting back.
“He actually wanted two of the paintings but I told him the second one is not yet finished,” Jonas recalled about the deal made on December 29.
“When we made the deal he said he did not have cash and the bar with the ATM would still be closed by the time he left in the morning, so he promised I would receive the money at Shoprite.
“I borrowed money to go to East London on the 31st, but when I got to Shoprite all I received was R50,” Jonas said.
Jonas claims Mngxishe has been ignoring his calls.
Denying the allegations, Ngxishe said: “I gave him the [reference] to withdraw the money and he called later to say that the numbers were wrong.
“I went to Shoprite and got my money back because I thought there was some sort of robbery going on.”
He said he would be taking the painting back to Jonas.
Questions sent to the police had not been answered at the time of writing.
However, the Dispatch has seen the case number that was given to Jonas after opening the case at the Hamburg police station...

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