An apparent racially motivated outburst on social media against Mercedes Benz distributor M&Z Motors landed a disgruntled client of the vehicle company and another person with a court interdict.
M&Z took the drastic steps for a court action after several attempts to satisfy the customer, Charlotte Kapose, failed, the company said in an affidavit filed by its dealer principal Ekko Eisenberg.
Kapose, who is employed as a senior financial analyst at Namfisa, and her supposed boyfriend Tommy Tjaronda allegedly made racially motivated comments and threats on social media against M&Z and Eisenberg.
The whole saga apparently started after Kapose bought a new Mercedes Benz from the company and after a while complained about a noise the car made when she braked.
Eisenberg said in his statement that the company did everything in its power, to the extent of replacing all the components of the braking system, even though they could not hear the sound.
He said that although Kapose acknowledged the brake system was not faulty, she said she did not like the sound it made when she engaged the brakes.
After some toing and froing and after negative comments on social media by Tjaronda, the affidavit reads, the company decided to “out of goodwill” replace the car with another one of the same specifications, albeit a newer (2015) model, and supplied Kapose with a courtesy vehicle while her replacement vehicle was built according to her specifications.
But, to their amazement, when the replacement vehicle was delivered Kapose in no time complained again about the same noise when she engaged the brakes. The company then sent her on an all expenses paid executive driving course in South Africa to try and resolve the matter.
But this did not solve anything whatsoever, M&Z claimed, adding that matters got to the point where they offered to buy back the vehicle at the same price she bought it for, and even offered to pay for any additional costs she might have incurred to buy another vehicle at a different outlet.
“This is when matters took a turn for the worse,” Eisenberg said, adding that Kapose accompanied by Tjaronda “stormed” his office and threatened his employees, demanding to be seen immediately.
Although he was busy with other duties, Eisenberg stated, he attended to them only to be met with aggressive behaviour and threats that “we will live to regret this” and they “will blow this thing up” if Kapose was not given another car.
This was followed by derogatory remarks on social media, Eisenberg further claimed.
In the end he did not see any way out other than litigation, Eisenberg said, as “there seems to be no stopping the respondents as they seem to be above the law” and he had no other choice than to approach the court for relief.
He asked for and obtained an interdict restraining Kapose and Tjaronda from entering the premises of M&Z Motors and from posting derogatory remarks on social media. The court further interdicted Kapose and Tjaronda from interfering and threatening the company and its employees.
Kapose and Tjaronda have until July 22 to oppose the action.