Yumna Sono, the wife of Jomo Sono’s son Bamuza, has struck again and many have come out to accuse her of being a conniving fraudster.
In August 2016, Sunday World reported that Yumna made families from Alexandra, north of Joburg, fork out thousands of rands for a fictitious soccer tour to the UK. The trip was cancelled on the day the boys had to fly out of the country.
She claimed to have paid a travel agent R178 000 but the agent was told by the bank that the SMS proof of payment was fake and the parents were informed that the flights were never booked.
This time Yumna’s victims include professionals Lucille Gumbi and Khutala Holton, as well as make-up artist Zainab Peters, among others. She allegedly played on the sympathy of a mutual friend who had lost her son. The high school learner was killed outside a Sandton nightclub in February.
With Yumna’s daughter being a friend of the deceased, she reached out to the grieving mother and her friends, Gumbi and Holton, offering support. They quickly became buddies, but Gumbi said they were yet to realise that Yumna was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Gumbi said Yumna invited them to her home “unprovoked” for a spa day to make the grieving mom feel better.
However, Yumna never paid the spa for services. The owner of the establishment, who did not want to be named for fear of tarnishing the image of her business, confirmed that charges have been laid against Yumna after she had sent them a fake proof of payment.
Gumbi alleged that Sono also started an organisation in the name of the deceased boy, but never paid for a banner bearing the boy’s image, and gave them a fake proof of payment.
“She made up stories about why the merchandise wasn’t coming through until we found out that she made the banner and never paid for it,” said Gumbi.
“The supplier confirmed she sent a fake proof of payment and he didn’t want any business with her. She lied and said she reversed the payment.”
Gumbi and Holton, as well as the grieving mom, failed to take note of the red flags, agreeing to a girl’s trip with Yumna and paid for their grieving friend.
Yumna volunteered to pay for flights and accommodation using her credit card to secure their Knysna holiday and have the ladies pay her back in instalments, starting in April. “Love and trust had developed quickly between us – a period of four months,” said Holton.
Gumbi and Holton then paid her R6 000 each. But when Gumbi checked on their accommodation, the place was still available.
“When we realised that even the flights were not paid for, we confronted her. She swore that she had paid for it and would send the slip confirming the payment. I thought there had to be a plausible explanation,” said Gumbi.
But Gumbi then realised that the money Yumna had supposedly paid her for “holiday clothes” also never came through. She said Nedbank told her that the proof of payment was fake.
“I realised that this is how she operates. It’s easy to create a proof of payment that looks legit using the right apps,” said Gumbi.
As concerned friends, Gumbi wrote Yumna a message on a group WhatsApp: “We know that our flights and accommodation are not paid for. Of course, we are disappointed and worried about you as your friends. I want to suggest you send us the money paid to date, let us manage the bookings from here to avoid any further issues.
“And then we should get together as soon as possible because we’re worried about you, we need to have open and honest chat about how we are here,” reads part of the text.
Holton echoed that Yumna continued to make excuses about why she was not paying. “She just lied and lied. We were respectful. She leveraged it. I feel like a fool and therefore will be pressing charges against her,” said Holton.
Over the last two weeks, messages were exchanged between the parties which Sunday World has seen, where Yumna alleges that she has done EFT payments, to changing her tune that she was standing in a bank queue way after banking hours, even sending a picture of herself in the bank.
She later sent a message saying she gave cash to a woman who had done an immediate payment. But money was never received. Gumbi said she and Holton had already gone to Douglasdale police station to open a case of theft and fraud against Yumna.
In a separate incident, make-up artist Zainab Peters from Cape Town also accused Yumna of furnishing them with fake proof of payments.
Speaking to Sunday World, Peters said Yumna was in Cape Town and requested to have make-up done. She sent Peters a proof of R850 deposit.
“I did her face on the Sunday, June 19, at her sister’s place because I trusted the proof she sent, a screenshot of the proof of payment. But on the Tuesday the money wasn’t in,” said Peters.
“She said there was a glitch and she would get back to me, she’s landed in Joburg and she’s hectic with the rain and work and lots of stories. The money still didn’t come through, even though she said it would reflect after 30 minutes.
“A few days later I threatened to involve the law and expose her for the con woman she is. This prompted her to pay me. It’s only R800, but this job is my bread and butter. She seemed like the nicest person ever, you would never think she was capable of such things. After she paid me, I blocked her.”
Gumbi said Yumna had done the same to another make-up artist who applied make-up for Sono’s daughter recently.
Sunday World has seen confirmation from the make-up artist that she was conned. But she refused to speak sighting that she did not know the kind of woman [Yumna] she was dealing with.
When confronted with the allegations, Yumna did not confirm nor deny. She said she would respond promptly, stating that she needed time, but failed to do so.