Hundreds of people took to the streets this week to support a Plattelandse pastor accused of running a Ponzi scheme.
Investors and supporters say David “Oompie” Cupido of 4th Power Investments is being unfairly accused of running an illegal business when in actual fact he has helped scores of people improve their finances.
One of Cupido’s supporters, Boss Willemse, says: “People who could never even dream of owning a vehicle are now driving their own cars because of David and 4th Power investments.”
Meanwhile, a video posted on Facebook by Gerrit Jaftha on Monday shows hundreds of angry people marching through the streets of Touws River to hand over a memorandum demanding that the Hawks unfreeze the assets of Cupido and 4th Power Investments.
Hundreds more marched in De Doorns, while another march is being planned in Worcester.
They want the assets unfrozen, fearing investors will not be paid out in time for the festive season.
The Hawks specialist investigation unit swooped on Cupido’s home in Touws River earlier this year and confiscated electronic equipment including his cellphones after complaints from Gerhard du Toit and local doctor Piet Muller.
Cupido allegedly told potential investors if someone invested R1 000 in February, they would have earned R2 500 on the investment in March.
And if the investor didn’t take a payout, he or she would have earned R1.8 million in December.
But investor Rhodney Visagie says this is just “suur druiwe” from Du Toit, a white financial broker in the Boland dorpie.
“They are out to keep our [coloured] people poor. 4th Power Investments promises 116.7 percent returns on an investment and people received it,” he says.
“The payouts scheduled for 15 December can’t happen now because the assets are frozen so our people are facing another bleak Christmas.”
He adds: “Two days before the Hawks, came David brought SARS to explain to investors how they should pay tax on their returns.
“If he wasn’t legit, he wouldn’t have done that.”
According to reports, Cupido’s luxury company fleet consists of a Ford Everest, Ford Ranger, Ford Mustang, Audi A4, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Golf 7 GTI, BMW 320i and a Mercedes Benz C-class, which are being used by his agents.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha confirms that several charges against Cupido are being investigated.
“Cases of fraud, theft and money laundering in contravention of the FAIS Act and Banks Act are under investigation,” states Ramovha.
He adds that the investigation is at a very early stage and no arrests have been made yet.
Ramovha also urged alleged victims to contact the investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel De Villiers on 071 481 6908 or send an email to DeVilliersEL@saps.gov.za
There will be a meeting about 4th Power Investments at Hexpark School Hall tonight at 6pm.