A report which prosecutors claim proves Pastor Colin Davids ran a R100 million ponzi scheme that was bleeding millions of rands was the focus of a court battle yesterday.
The audit by Ernest & Young forms part of an application by the Assets Forfeiture Unit to seize the assets of Pastor Davids, the head of the Platinum Forex Group.
The AFU was expected to apply for the seizure in the Western Cape High Court yesterday, but proceedings were put on hold by Davids’ lawyers, who tried to block the report from being admitted as part of the evidence.
Davids allegedly operated an illegal Ponzi scheme promising people high returns on investments.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila says the entire day was spent arguing the matter, but in the end, the defence lost.
He says: “What we did was to bring in a report from Ernest & Young to support our application for the order. They applied for that report not to be admitted.
“The whole day was spend on that, in the end they lost and that report has been admitted as part of the application,” he says.
“The Ernst & Young Report indicates that the scheme was losing millions of rands.”
Ntabazalila said the defence has been given time to respond to the report, before the real application will be argued.
On June 22, the Bellville Magistrates’ Court released Davids on R100 000 bail.
At the time, the Directorate for Priority Crime investigation (Hawks) spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha said 48-year-old Davids, was arrested on June 22, on charges of contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act and the Banks Act.
“Davids, a pastor at New Direction Grace Ministries in Parow, Cape Town, was allegedly running a Ponzi scheme whose investors were mainly government employees who had retired or resigned from the service,” Ramovha said at the time.
In July 2015, Platinum Forex Group’s R137 million worth of assets were frozen on the order of the Western Cape High Court following the National Director of Public Prosecutions’s application for a Preservation Order in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, Ramovha added.
Davids’ case has been postponed to 18 January 2017 to allow for further investigation.
The Hawks have urged members of the public who have been victims of the Platinum Forex Group to come forward and make contact with the Investigating Officer, Lieutenant Colonel J Hardenberg, on 021 918 3354 or email HardenbergJ@saps.gov.za.