MORE than 70 home distributors, who invested thousands of rands in WCS Big Five Promotions, have been left in the lurch.
The distributors promised to organise accommodation for tourists coming to the World Cup spectacle.
They are called distributors because they look for houses and choose those that meet the standards to be used for accommodation.
They did not receive even a single guest and are now unlikely to get their money back.
The group of 75 people alleged that WCS Big Five Promotions lured them into investing R29000 each in the accommodation industry in 2006. They were guaranteed returns.
They said each distributor had to get 200 beds to qualify as a shareholder.
"We want our money back plus interest because WCS Big Five have failed to deliver on their promises," distributor Queeny Sibasa said.
Sibasa, of Tshiawelo in Soweto, said she spent sleepless nights organising homes for promised tourists.
"I spent a lot of money on petrol, phone calls and pictures of the houses to ensure that everything was well-organised. All my efforts were in vain," she said.
She said each homeowner paid a R500 deposit and were promised R750 a day for every guest.
Sibasa said as the tournament drew near she became worried because the company was silent about bookings.
"We were told that few tourists came and most of them opted for hotels. That's not true because according to statistics there were about one million tourists who came between June 1 and July 1," she said.
"How can they tell us they failed to secure at least one person out of a million people? They just did not do their work. All they wanted was our money. This was a scam."
She said each distributor was promised R450000 once the guests had arrived.
They would get a further R400000 when the tournament ended.
Nomsa Malinga of Meadowlands, who joined as an agent and a distributor, said: "WCS must bring back our money. Our lives are in danger because homeowners want their deposits while WCS have now moved their offices without telling us."
WCS spokesperson Christo Maritz said the reason they moved from Florida was because of death threats.
"Last week WCS staff and management received death threats from investors and property owners to such an extent that the office was vacated," Maritz said.
"This also had the effect that no further bookings could be handled during the busiest period and more income was lost."