Self-proclaimed 'millionaire' out on bail after first appearance

Shezi was granted a R5000 bail and his case was postponed to November 24 according to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwana

Lindile Sifile Journalist
Forex trader Sandile Shezi declared himself a millionaire at the age of 23 and lived a life of luxury on social media. He is now 30.
Forex trader Sandile Shezi declared himself a millionaire at the age of 23 and lived a life of luxury on social media. He is now 30.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

Sandile Shezi, the self-proclaimed SA’s youngest “millionaire” and forex trader, who is facing a R500,000 fraud charge, had resigned from his golden goose company by the time he handed himself over to the police this week.

Shezi, 30, made his first court appearance at the Alexandra magistrate's court on Thursday for allegedly defrauding his business partner Allan Ledwaba of R500,000 worth of investments into Global Trading Institute (GTI) around 2018.

Shezi had started GTI with his equally controversial mentor George Van Der Riet, 45, in 2016 which propelled him into becoming an instant highflying “millionaire” with an expensive taste in cars and clothes. Van Der Riet’s phone rang unanswered on Thursday.

Shezi was granted a R5000 bail and his case was postponed to November 24 according to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwana. 

Ledwaba claimed that he had made several investments with Shezi with an agreement that Shezi would trade his investment on his behalf and pay him dividends annually. He said Shezi had promised him 100% returns in the first year which would then double annually. However, he was left high and dry in 2018 and 2019.

Ledwaba told Sowetan on Thursday that the money he lost through GTI had left a big dent to his pocket and was still suffering financially because of it.

“Today is not the right time for me to lay bare my entire story and how I suffered at the hands of a man trusted as the matter has just gone to court,” said Ledwaba. However, Shezi has denied these allegations.

Ledwaba opened the case of fraud a few weeks ago and a warrant of Shezi’s arrest was issued by the Randburg magistrate's court earlier this month before he handed himself over to the police on Wednesday

A company search by Sowetan on Thursday showed that Shezi had resigned from GTI although he was still an active director at 28 business entities based in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal where he hails from.

Some of these companies included a several forex and Bitcoin ventures, a funeral parlour, a construction firm, textile business and the bizarre South African Ward Councillors and PR Councillors Award (PTY) LTD.

Shezi has had a brush with the law in the past. In September 2019, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) issued a warning against people doing business with Rivoltare, a company he owned at the time. FSCA said the company was not legally authorised to render any financial advice and intermediary services.

“The FSCA received information that Rivoltare, owned by Mr Sandile Shezi, promises members of the public that they can make money “without clicking a button” and trade on their behalf. Members of the public are required to pay $500 (about R7,000) joining fee. Rivoltare is neither an authorised Financial Services Providers (FSP) nor a representative of an authorised FSP and there are no records of application to become authorised as one,” said the FCSA at the time.

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