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Jochen Piehl

How Shell exploited the tragedy that befell a filling station franchisee

Jochen Colleen tragically killed in a road accident

Jochen Piehl tragically killed in a road accident

Against their wishes, Shell sent another franchise owner to stand in for them supposedly on a temporary basis, then refused to allow them to return. Shell’s alleged treachery ruined the family financially making the situation even more distressing at the worst possible time. Colleen says: “We were so lost and weak and broken with our son’s death that we could not even put up a ‘fight’ at the time.” Her damming assessment of the oil giant: “Shell have no morals or scruples and don’t care how and who they destroy.”

By John Donovan

Over a decade ago, Frank and Colleen Piehl were the first tenants of the Shell owned Sibonelo filling station based at Ngwenya, Swaziland at the Oshoek border post of South Africa (Oshoek) and Swaziland.

The family mortgaged their home and invested their life savings into what was becoming a thriving business, despite unusual onerous terms attached to the lease arising from an interest held by a consortium of landowners.

In 2001, their only son, Jochen, was killed in a road accident at the age of 13. read more

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