Car scheme investors to be refunded

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line

Pastor Dennis Jali of Holiness Revival Movement of SA who was accused of ripping off investors in a scheme allegedly operating in the US is now in a process of reimbursing his client through his attorneys.

In September 2017, Consumer Line published an article with a headline "Millions paid to scam car scheme" in which 500 investors were left in the lurch after paying about R10m to the scheme.

At the time, the organisation's general manager, Phindi Koti, of Kwa-Zulu-Natal, also complained she was threatened by the clients who invested in the scheme.

So far, only two people have confirmed they have been refunded the money they invested in the scheme. One of them has received the full amount.

The scheme, originally known as SA Uberpartners, changed its name to SA Smart Partners before its director, Jali, disappeared with investors' money.

Both Vicky Netshimbupfe of Germiston, and her daughter invested R160,000 and have since 2017 been battling to get their refund.

Only her daughter has been refunded the R10,000 she invested in the scheme, she confirmed last week.

Netshimbupfe withdrew R170,000 life savings and invested R150,000 for herself and R10,000 for her daughter.

She paid a registration fee of R1,300 for herself and her daughter, she said.

They were told that the scheme operated in the same way as Uber or Taxify do.

Netshimbupfe's contract stated she would earn R20,325 a week and had a clause which state that investments are risky.

Musa Tshabalala of Soweto invested R100,000 and R50,000 for his wife in 2017, and said he was told payment would be made after seven days of signing.

He told Consumer Line he was happy he will get his refund.

Koti on Thursday said SA Smart Partnerswas in the process of reimbursing the clients.

"Our lawyer has started the process," Koti said.

Kevin Louis of Louis and Associates said due to the attorney-client confidentiality clause, he is not at liberty to discuss the matter with Consumer Line, or confirm whether Netshimbupfe would be refunded.

On Friday, Louis sent her a letter of demand instead of the form to facilitate a refund.

The firm demanded a retraction and an apology for the article published.

"Failing which you will not be paid," read the letter.

It stated the allegations published in Sowetan were defamatory to their clients and threatened to sue her.

"Why must I be punished for complaining. They can sue me and will have to explain themselves in court," she said.