This is the story of a R236,000 tennis bracelet, and the three men brought together in a dispute over it — a Spanish architect on a visit to South Africa, a prominent Johannesburg-based jeweller, and a high-ranking employee of the National Consumer Commission (NCC).

The tourist bought the bracelet from the jeweller’s store shortly before Christmas. But a few days later he had a change of heart, prompting him to return it and ask for a refund. The jeweller refused, as he was legally entitled to...

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