Scary time for investor in a scheme

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Molebogeng Moretsi of Garankuwa, north of Pretoria, has been struggling to get her investment payout or refund of her R110,000.
Molebogeng Moretsi of Garankuwa, north of Pretoria, has been struggling to get her investment payout or refund of her R110,000.
Image: Supplied

When Molebogeng Moretsi invested her money with The Bull Trend, an investment company, in February last year, she did not anticipate to struggle to get her investment payout at its maturity date.

Moretsi had to seek the intervention of Consumer Line. She has since been paid R10,000, a far cry from her R110,000 investment and the interest that should make the payout a bigger amount.

The Bull Trend owner Aniki Makinta blamed her inability to release Moretsi's money on the current situation due to the lockdown even though her investment matured in February this year.

Moretsi, 36, of Garankuwa, north of Pretoria, said the R110,000 she invested was part of her divorce settlement. According to her, Makinta had made her to believe her investment sum would double to R220,000 at maturity.

Moretsi said she met Makinta through her mother, who showed her nothing but joy over what she got back for her investment with The Bull Trend.

The mother of two had divided her R110,000 investment into three parts: R100,000 for herself and R5,000 each for her children for a period of 12 months.

Moretsi said she was made to sign a share purchase contract which she later discovered was not an investment agreement.

The contract which Consumer Line has seen does not have terms and conditions and Moretsi does not know her rights should the service provider fails to deliver at the end of the contract period.

Two days after depositing the money, Moretsi received a text message congratulating her on her new investment of R100,000 and R5,000 each for the children, but no further investment documents were ever sent to her, she said.

"Your funds will grow at an average rate of 8.3% per month and you will receive your first upgrade on the first week of April 2019 and then you will receive it at the beginning of every month," the SMS from the company read.

In April and May she only received WhatsApp messages showing that her R100,000 investment had grown by R16,000 and that of her children by R800 each, which she found impressive, Moretsi said.

She said she has been surviving on the Unemployment Insurance Fund payout until its term ended in March this year.

"Before the lockdown my daughter was already in arrears with her school fees and my pleas to have her investment released fell on deaf ears," Moretsisaid.

She said she even begged Makinta to return her R100,000 investment without the interest, but all she got were excuses.

"My financial problems forced me to sell my car for R30,000 in April just to have cash after Aniki ignored my messages," Moretsi said.

She approached Consumer Line on the advice of former Sowetan reporter Alfred Moselakgomo.

"I can't afford an attorney and Moselakgomo told me Sowetan offers this service for free. Please help me get my money from Aniki," Moretsi pleaded.

Makinta paid R10,000 on Thursday morning and apologised for the delay and lack of communication with Moretsi.

"We sent her some funds even though not all due to [her] due to the situation (lockdown).

"We agreed with Moretsi that she will be paid the full amount when we get sorted out," said Makinta, who could not say how or when they would be sorted out.

Makinta ignored further inquiries when asked what happened to Moretsi's entire investment money.

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