Desmond’s Building Renovations and Alterations.
I am posting this in the hope that potential or existing clients that are engaged by this person come across this information and find it useful.
Desmond Mutepfa is a builder who has a track record of defrauding clients. Desmond also uses the following first names: Derrick, Dez and Tawanda. He also uses the surname: Parks. “Delma” is apparently another name he uses. All financial transactions occur through his wife’s bank account (in the name of Martha Mutepfa), which implies that she may be in cahoots with him. Below I provide further passport, contact and other information on both individuals.
His modus operandi, from my experience and from speaking to a number of other clients he has defrauded (see their details below), is to either get paid a lot of money upfront and then disappear, or fairly rapidly ‘run’ out of money and then slowly extract more money from the client to keep the project going. Wherever he can, he buys sub-standard materials, skimps on materials, uses sub-standard labour and subcontractors (but charges them out at normal rates).
He also has a habit of frequently changing where he lives, apparently because he does not pay rent and is then evicted, and so that he cannot be found by subcontractors and clients he has defrauded, and so the police are not able to track him down. (This I heard from some of his subcontractors).
Desmond comes across as a genuinely nice person. Beware! He is an eloquent talker and is able to rapidly build trust with clients and workers. As my project progressed, I realised that he has a habit of lying about matters small or large, which was further confirmed by speaking directly to numerous of his workers and subcontracors.
His modus operandi with me was as follows:
• He initially built trust. He is charismatic and a ‘smooth talker’. In my case he had two good references and I met him at a larger construction site he was apparently managing (later I discovered he was fired from there soon afterwards).
• We agreed a contract – his offer was highly competitive.
• He wanted significant upfront payment (I denied him this and said we need to build trust, so the payments were kept small).
• He commenced work with enthusiasm.
• While his site management efforts were minimal, they were just sufficient to string me along. He usually arrived much later than his workers and left before they did, and rarely did any quality inspections.
• After the first four weeks of the project, he consistently ran out of money, citing higher-than-expected material costs and delays. This was used as a slow money-extraction strategy. Initially I thought his financial and other management s****s were just poor, but I then gradually realised he was skimming off money at every twist and turn. He would skimp on materials, buy sub-standard materials and he would not fully pay his workers and subcontractors (even the lowest-paid ones), telling them he couldn’t pay them because I wasn’t paying him according to the agreed payment schedule, which I was in fact way ahead of, in a bid to get the renovations done.
• There were a few smaller additional projects that we agreed, but he rarely finished any of these, or did such a lousy job that they had to be redone subsequently.
• As the better subcontractors refused to continue working with him, he would then bring in progressively worse subcontractors (plumbers and carpenters, who it turned out didn’t even know the very basics).
• Then his car ‘broke down’ and he asked whether I could help him with the R6500 required to fix it. I subsequently heard from some of his subcontractors that he in fact hid is car so that it couldn’t be impounded by subcontractors or myself.
• For my roofing he kept stringing me along for weeks, initially saying they got the order wrong and then promising imminent delivery. I eventually phoned the suppliers who had never heard of him.
• Once I kicked Desmond off the project, I had to get in additional tilers, roofers, flooring people, electricians, etc, to fix his shoddy work and finish the work he was meant to complete.
• While difficult to specify the exact amount he defrauded me by, it is probably in the range of R80k, made up of the following estimate amounts: R50k that he extracted in small amounts (or by not paying subcontractors) over the duration of the project, R10k of poor quality work that had to be redone, R30k of work that had to be completed, which he was supposed to have completed as part of the original agreement).
Previous clients of his I have managed to identify that he has defrauded or where he was fired (there will undoubtedly be more):
• Villa Gallazio in Camps Bay (June 2013). See details: http://africacomplaints.com/construction-repair/153175-desmond-parks-activity.html
• Rondebosch East (January 2015):
• TRHConstruction.net (February 2016): Desmond briefly worked as a site manager for them on a project in Vredehoek, but was fired not long after he started there due to poor quality work, financial irregularities and threats. Desmond and his workers were eventually paid in front of the police station, at which point Desmond was fired.
• Sea Point Hire: Desmond has been blacklisted by them on the national “No-Hire” system in 2015 for not paying for equipment hire.
Desmond Mutepfa’s Zimbabwean passport number is AN430180. His cell number is 0837618122.
Martha Mutepfa’s Zimbabwean passport number is DN538999. Her identify number is: 59-038351V-50. Her cell number is: 0749576776