Protea Hotel. The (AGM) Annual General Meeting took place on 12 December 2017.
It’s a swelteringly hot afternoon, Tuesday
12 December 2017.
Pieter de Vos co-owner of 68 Arthur’s Seat Mansions attends the AGM.
(He was in fact in Cape Town for the opening of a play he produced at the Artscape Theatre.
The meeting is an extraordinarily weird
experience, he recalls.
Two women, Mrs. Felicia Rubin and Mrs. Inge Willers, neighbours on the 7th Floor, are terribly upset about theft in their apartments.
In one apartment, a safe was opened and extremely valuable articles, some of them of great
sentimental value, were stolen.
The intruder was obviously knowledgeable, and took items that could be easily removed – and presumably as easily converted into cash.
From Mrs. Willers, a former member of the
Body Corporate and resident of many years standing, a large amount in foreign exchange was stolen.
Nothing of this is mentioned by the women or the members of the Body Corporate at the meeting. They have reported it previously, and discussed it often with the chairperson, Barry Gie, and do not consider it necessary to mention it again at the meeting. Pieter knows nothing about the theft. It is the first time that he attends an AGM as new owner after his mother’s death.
The two women seem angry, and Pieter obviously does not quite know why. They request proper surveillance of the passages, and to Pieter it seems an inappropriate request. He feels the neighbourhood watch should be strengthened. “Rather keep Sea Point clear of criminals than fighting them by monitoring the interior of the building,” he argues. Little does he know that they suspect that the crimes have been committed by a person or persons residing at Arthur’s Seat Mansions. Also, he does not realise the extent of the crimes – that the two women have suffered losses running into hundreds of thousands of rands, maybe more.
He notices that they are treated with arrogant disdain by the aged male members of the Body Corporate, their request brushed off the table with objections to the cost of a system of proper camera surveillance.
He returns home to dinner, recounting the strange request for interior surveillance at Arthur’s Seat Mansions.
A few days later – on Saturday 16 December at 12:10 to be precise – he makes a final check of the flat, before his imminent return to Johannesburg.
Pieter unlocks the cupboard where his and co-owner Jan’s family jewellery, gold coins and other items are kept. They are stored in a box right underneath the red and black judges’ robes Pieter’s father wore as Supreme Court Judge in the 1960’s. The items are valuable and of great sentimental value.
The box is gone.
As they search the flat, he and Jan discover that the gold medallions that they have received for their award-winning documentaries have also been removed from their special wooden and velvet cases.
TO BE CONTINUED
Further crimes have been revealed since the case was reported. SAPS members have been noticeable in their absence.
We believe the criminal may still be a resident of Arthur’s Seat Mansions.
Pieter de Vos and Jan Groenewald are international tv/film directors and producers and have been honoured by the South African Academy for Arts and Science for their work.
Pieter’s mother, Ileana, was the previous owner of the flat until her death early 2014. She was the widow of Judge Japie de Vos. After his death in 1967 she married a former Cabinet minister, Jan Haak.
Her grandfather was Pres. Steyn, the last president of the Orange Free State. Her father was an eye specialist, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, and as medical student in London invited to assist his professor in delicate eye surgery on one of Queen Victoria’s sons.
Ileana’s grandmother frequently received visiting members of the Royal family at her daughter’s home in Sea Point. (The picture of the Royal family visiting Mrs. Steyn is relevant to this case)