TV crew, guest shocked after man forges payment and leaves bride at altar.
A GROOM who allegedly forged bank payment papers to dupe his wedding planners has been arrested and charged with fraud and forgery. But more dramatic was that the Joburg physiotherapist and motivational speaker failed to pitch at his own wedding and allegedly claimed he was hijacked on the day of the wedding.
All this drama happened while the crew of the popular reality TV show Our Perfect Wedding were rolling their cameras to capture events at what was supposed to be the wedding of Wanda Mhobo and his fiancee Neriah Ratanang Mhobo. The December 5 wedding could not proceed as planned after wedding planners, Ambrosia Hall and Catering, refused to grant guests and the pastor access to the venue.
Sunday World understands that the embarrassing episode left the bride highly depressed. Midrand police station commander Steven Moodley confirmed the case. He said Mhobo will appear in court tomor-row. He was refused bail due to the serious nature of the case. Mhobo now languishes in police holding cells after being arrested on Friday evening by the Midrand police on charges of fraud and forgery for allegedly faking and altering a Capitec Bank proof of payment slip.
When Sunday World visited Mhobo at Midrand police holding cells yesterday, he said his wife had lost her speech after being diagnosed with a serious form of depression due to the embarrassment. Mhobo told the police that he never intended to falsify the proof of payments, saying that he only did it as he was under pressure because his wife went against his wishes after he advised her to postpone the wedding because he had no money.
Neriah, who hails from Soweto, was not available for comment. According to an affidavit deposed by the wedding planner, Sally Slade, Mhobo made several promises when he was asked to make payments before the wedding could go ahead. Slade said in a police statement that she got an enquiry from Mhobo ‘ s wife, Neriah, through their website asking for a quotation for a wedding package to accommodate 80 guests.
“The enquiry was for a wedding during December and I responded to the website enquiry via email advising that the 5th of December was available for a wedding.” Slade said the booking was confirmed and the deposit of R8 265 was paid on June 27 2015. “On 3 October 2015 I met with Mhobo and Neriah, who came to Ambrosia Hall’ s venue at 97 Allan Road, Glen Austin, Midrand. At this meeting Mhobo advised me that he had applied for his and Neriah ‘ s wedding to be featured on the television reality show Our Perfect Wedding and that his application had been accepted. “Neriah was in a bit of a panic at this stage, as we had not made any arrangements in respect of the decor and so on for the function and it was not going to be televised. At this meeting Mhobo and Neriah asked me to help them with the decor and the planning of the wedding function. The planning then started in earnest, ” she said. Slade revealed that the trouble started on December 1 when “Mhobo telephoned me and told me that Neriah ‘ s uncle, who had initially agreed to pay for the wedding, had pulled out. Mhobo advised me that he was obtaining a loan to pay for the wedding and asked me if I would accept payment in cash.”
She said a day before the wedding she received a WhatsApp message from Neriah stating that Mhobo had “managed to get the payment done “. “I then received an email with an attachment that purported to be a Capitec Bank proof of electronic funds transfer. When I received the proof of payment I telephoned Ambrosia Hall ‘ s bankers, Standard Bank, to ask if there was a pending credit. I gave Standard Bank all of the details on the Capitec Bank document but they could not confirm the transactions, and Capitec also failed to confirm it.” She said that more woes came to the fore when the DJ and photographer arrived at the venue and they also said that they had not been paid in full. The show ‘ s producer Lungani confirmed the wedding and that Mzansi Magic went to cover it. “The episode is already at Mzansi Magic, but I ‘ m not the right person to talk about it. All I can say is that all went well and the episode is very beautiful, ” said Lungani.