Zola 7 fakes on the prowl

KWAITO star and TV presenter Bonginkosi Dlamini, aka Zola 7, has warned fans who want to appear on his TV show about being conned by crooks to pay.

The warning comes after a student nurse from the Eastern Cape studying in Johannesburg went to his offices demanding to know when she would feature on his show.

But she had been hoodwinked into paying three unscrupulous men R14 000.

They had promised her they would help her if she paid 10 percent of the R192 000 needed to build a hall in her community. They said the money was for administration fees.

Asanda Mkhulisi, from Mzimkhulu near Kokstad, said she had sent an e-mail to the TV programme appealing for money to build the hall.

Months later she got a call from a man called Vusi who said he was from the show.

"I paid my school fees money that my mother had sent me," she said.

After months of broken promises, she decided to approach Dlamini's office directly.

Her suspicions were confirmed when she was told no fees were paid to appear on the show.

Mkhulisi supplied Sowetan with proof of payment of the R14000 into an FNB account.

The men she spoke to called themselves Vusi and Sipho but the account holder had a different name.

The Zola 7 team has tried pinning him down, but he has been elusive. He has two pre-paid cellphone numbers.

Ironically, the programme aired on SABC1 on Thursdays is broadcast to help the needy secure financial help in one way or another.

Dlamini said it appeared that the crooks were intercepting letters to the show and then contacting the writers directly.

"People don't need to pay to feature on Zola 7," he said. "This is a government and SABC initiative."

Police are investigating a case of fraud.