Sandile Shezi, a flamboyant entrepreneur, self-proclaimed millionaire, and foreign currency trader, is wanted by police in Johannesburg for allegedly scamming a man of R500,000.
The 29-year-old from Umlazi, Durban, established a reputation for himself by claiming to be South Africa’s youngest FX trader to amass millions of dollars through cryptocurrency trading.
A Lamborghini Gallardo, a Range Rover Velar, a Ferrari California T, a Maserati Grancabrio, a Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and a BMW i8 are among his premium vehicles. Shezi’s firm, Global Forex Institute, has offices in the affluent areas of Umhlanga on the KwaZulu-Natal coast and in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Shezi was supposedly a billionaire by the age of 23, but he is reportedly having trouble repaying investors who invested between R200 000 and R1.2 million in his company after being promised big financial returns.
A warrant for his arrest was issued by the SA Police Service in Sandton this week for allegedly defrauding a Johannesburg businessperson of R500 000 in 2018.
“A case of fraud has been opened at the Sandton Police Station,” said police spokesman Mavela Masondo. The suspect is being sought by the police.”
A 60-year-old former Limpopo principal is another of Shezi’s alleged victims, claiming the high-flying forex trader owes him R1.2 million. Shezi’s commercial dealings go back to the peak of his company’s prosperity in 2018. To entice investors, he held a series of wildly popular lectures across the country.
When Allan Ledwaba (27) met Shezi in 2016, he had just graduated from the University of Mpumalanga. According to Ledwaba, he was charging pupils R10,000 to teach them how to trade forex.
“His seminars were always packed. At some point, there were more than 1 000 people in one of his seminars … He showed me his trading accounts, which [showed that they] had more than $6 million [R89 million] in them. He was driving Lamborghinis and Ferraris, which any youngster like me would be attracted to,” Ledwaba said.
He stated he chose to invest R500 000 in Shezi’s firm after obtaining a loan from his father.
“The agreement was that he would trade the money for me and then every year he would give us profit and then the full amount we had invested thereafter … But I became suspicious when I researched the name of the law firm used to draw up our contracts. I went to the law firm and spoke to the director, who said that they did not have a relationship with Sandile,” he said.
Shezi bought a car for Ledwaba, which was utilized for company branding reasons, and Ledwaba said he had only been paid R40 000 in profit thus far.
“The car was in my name. But I sold it when I realised that I had to recoup my funds,” he added.
After attending a presentation in Polokwane, another investor, a former school principal, claimed he was convinced on the notion of investing in Shezi’s business.
“We gave him [Shezi] R100 000 in 2018 and then in 2019 he told us that the money had matured, and it was R200 000. We then had a conversation that if I resigned and invested my pension payout, I would make more money,” he said.
After 38 years on the job, the man stated he retired and used his pension to invest in Shezi’s company.
“I invested R1 million in 2019. He used to send us dividends every month, but, at the end of the year, he started saying business was hard and he was struggling to invest,” the principal said.
He said he asked to withdraw from the deal in March this year, but was only paid out just over R100 000.
“This has affected me very badly because I have no income right now,” he said.
The former principal said he was seeking legal advice on how to recoup his money.
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