When private forensic investigator Jeff Koorbonally sent us his first letter, “Open letter to Thuli Madonsela” and three or four others thereafter in which he spoke of the Surtie inheritance stolen by the South African Reserve Bank and given to ABSA as bonds, we couldnt have anticipated the response from the family.
In several comments to UnCensored, we’ve had various family members coming-out to claim they are the Surtie family and the lawful beneficiaries to the trillion-rand inheritance.
The first salvo came from Feroza Surtie who claimed she and her brother, Faizel, were the legitimate beneficiaries of this inheritance.
“I am Feroza Surtie, grand daughter of the late Mr Surtie. Why are you not contacting the Surties directly as we know about this matter of which my late dad shared with me before his passing this year February 2016?”
“There is also my brother Faizel Surtie, the only son born to my dad Mr. Noor Mohamed Surtie and there is a will in place ruling it against the Sharia Muslim Law – We are the beneficiaries”.
Several weeks later I was in a conversation with Feroza and an aunt, Shereen, who it was said would explain the entire background to the inheritance and outline the family tree. I was curious to hear the story of how the Surtie brothers had left India and ended in Lesotho and their road to riches that would end up as trillions today. Anybody who’s been to Lesotho knows the Surties and the wealth they amassed.
A meeting was set up but the time and venue kept changing and I eventually turned-down the meeting completely. But at the heart of that confusion was the fact that Aunty Shereen had, unbeknown to Feroza and Faizel, invited a delegation from Lesotho which “knew the story”.
As it turns out there’s apparently a family council which has 396 Surtie members who will share in this inheritance. Shereen, Feroza and Faizel are however not part of this group.
There has now emerged another family member who claims to be the legitimate beneficiary. In an explosive series of letters to UnCensored, Abdureham Surtie, paints a picture of a toxic family feud that dates back decades and at the heart of which are allegations that some members squandered the family inheritance leaving Abdurehman, his mother and aunts, destitute.
“I Have been reading comments from Faizel, Shereen and Feroza. And many more will come out from their cupboards just to contest the reality. Firstly she (Shereen) is my grandfather’s second wife’s daughter and she and her mother helped themselves with what my grandfather had and never gave her sisters anything. Using a will, they sold all his properties in Lesotho, his assets were also sold, and not a cent was given to my mom and her sisters. How cruel can a person be? Her intentions are clear, that greed is still in her shadow. I have always respected her as my mother’s step sister, however there is too much pain for me to speak about how this whole family treated my mother”.
Koorbonally doesnt wish to be embroiled in the family feud.
The story goes that Abdureham was given the inheritance and decided to share it with the 396 members of the family.
Theirs is a fascinating story of Ebrahim Surtie who came to Lesotho and was later followed by his brother, Tyob. They traded in diamonds and became one of the wealthiest families in the country. They also came to South Africa where they built immense wealth.
The historical facts to the family, how they made their wealth is still to be confirmed by UnCensored but the bits we’ve come to know make for an interesting story which we shall follow closely.