MASERU — Four employees from Finite Magazine, a local glossy lifestyle monthly, were last month kicked out a Cape Town guesthouse after they allegedly stole toiletries, failed to pay their bills and damaged the toilet, the Sunday Express has learnt.
The four were accommodated at Kumbaya House from October 28 to 30 as part of an advert-for-accommodation deal the magazine had with the four-star guesthouse. They included Moleboheng Kolobe, an editorial assistant, Tšitso Mahloane, a graphic designer, Tlotliso Tšita, a tourism promoter, and marketing executive, Itumeleng Mokatsanyane. They were accompanied by two hired drivers, Raymond Lesenya and Rapelang Rasephei.
Rosemarry Magnusson, owner of Kumbaya House, says she regrets having agreed to a barter deal with the magazine.
She has since written to the Finite management complaining about what she calls the “worst guests she has ever hosted”.
Magnusson, a Mosotho woman, alleges that the group stole two 50ml unopened body lotion bottles, two 50ml shampoo bottles, one new white cotton face cloth with a Gold Kumbaya House Logo and a Silver Torch. She alleges they left a M2 500 bill for snacks.
They also left an unpaid M1 500 bill for alcohol, claims Magnusson in her angry letter to Finite Editor, Tšepang Mosena.
Magnusson says the four tampered with an alarm system which cost the guesthouse M797 to repair.
“They left a toilet blocked and broken, they also left all appliances on, ignoring a rule requesting all tenants to switch off appliances and lights in a bid to save power,” a furious Magnusson says. “They were disrespectful and cared less about anything.”
She says problems started when Finite brought six people instead of the agreed four. “We were expecting to accommodate four people but on the second day we learned there were two more extra people who had nothing to do with Finite but we accommodated one who was said to be a driver.”
“We were not told how much the advert would cost us but now we feel it would have been better to have paid for the space than going through all this.” Magnusson told the Sunday Express that “the worst part is that Finite’s management does not show any remorse”.
“It is very sickening to see people thinking they can just come here and vandalise my business and think they can just walk away. I am very angry and disappointed (with) the management of Finite.” However, Moleboheng Kolobe, one of the four, yesterday said Magnusson is to blame for all the problems she is complaining about because she is the one who agreed to accommodate Raymond Lesenya and Rapelang Rasephei even though they were “sorted”.
“She continued to offer them more alcohol until we told her to bill them the next morning and their alcohol bill was paid. As for food well, I can’t say much because I didn’t know what the arrangement was,” Kolobe said.
“We are being accused of stealing lotions and shampoos but we left them there because we brought ours. There were no face cloths in our suite and the toilet was already broken. Her (Rosemary) sister warned us of it on arrival.” Kolobe said they should be the ones complaining of the poor hospitality they received from Kumbaya House. The Finite Editor, Tšepang Mosena, on Friday rubbished Magnusson’s allegations saying she had not valid reasons to complain.“We reached our side of the bargain and it was her turn so she shouldn’t complain,” Mosena said. “I mean who complains about shampoo being stolen at a four-star guest house? It’s ridiculous.”
“The very disappointing thing about all this is the fact that she accommodated my team in a house with a broken. The security alarm was also faulty but now she wants to put the blame on us.”
“I found out from employees at Kumbaya that the toilet was broken long before my team arrived and they were even told to use the one next door,” Mosena said. Magnusson says because of the problems Kumbaya House will not accommodate the winners of the magazine’s competition as initially agreed. But Mosena said that doesn’t worry her much.
“It would have been so embarrassing to hear our readers complaining that they were treated like children because of a curfew provided by the hotel manager.”
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