Police are searching for 29-year-old cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sandile Shezi after an investor accused him of swindling him out of R500,000, reports City Press.
The paper reported that the SA Police Service issued a warrant for his arrest this week and that a case of fraud was opened at the Sandton Police Station.
Shezi runs a company called Global Forex Institute and has hosted seminars where he teaches attendees how to trade in foreign exchange.
Allan Ledwaba told City Press he was an attendee of one such event, which took place in 2016.
Shezi showed Ledwaba his trading accounts, which allegedly had over R89 million, and he was driving fancy cars such as Lamborghinis and Ferraris — which convinced Ledwaba to invest.
Ledwaba said he procured a R500,000 loan from his father, which he invested in Global Forex Institute.
“The agreement was that he would trade the money for me, and then every year he would give us profit and then the full amount we had invested thereafter,” said Ledwaba.
“But I became suspicious when I researched the name of the law firm used to draw up our contracts. I went to the law firm and spoke to the director, who said that they did not have a relationship with Sandile.”
To date, Ledwaba says he has only been paid R40,000 in profit, and Shezi bought a car for him for company branding purposes. He sold the car to try and make some of his money back.
Another investor, a former Limpopo school principal, said he gave Shezi R100,000 in 2018 and was told the following year that his investment had doubled in value.
Shezi allegedly convinced the principal to resign from his job and invest his pension payout to make even more money.
“I invested R1 million in 2019. He used to send us dividends every month, but, at the end of the year, he started saying business was hard and he was struggling to invest,” said the principal.
After asking to withdraw his money from the deal in March 2021, the principal claims he was paid out just over R100,000 — a far cry from his original R1 million investment.
Shezi’s legal team responds
Shezi’s lawyer, Lloyd Moonean, confirmed to City Press that he was aware of Ledwaba’s situation and said that his statements were defamatory.
“Our client relies on his good reputation and the good reputation of his company to attract customers and potential business,” said Moonean.
“Mr Ledwaba has previously defamed our client on social media to the extent that our client received numerous concerns and complaints about the same.”
Moonean also stated that Ledwaba’s sale of the vehicle which Shezi bought for him meant he had not adhered to the contract between the two parties.
“Our client firmly believes that the allegations made by Mr Ledwaba amount to misdirection and do not represent the whole truth of the matter.”
Moonean did not respond to the allegations of the former school principal.