New year court date for pastor

So-called Ponzi pastor Colin Davids, of New Direction Grace Ministries in Parow, will be back in court on January 18, next year on charges of contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act and the Banks Act.

He was granted bail of R100 000 in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday June 22. Mr Davids, 48, director of Platinum Forex Group, from Plattekloof, allegedly ran a Ponzi scheme with investments from mainly government employees who had retired or resigned.

In July last year, Platinum Forex’s assets worth R100 million were frozen on the order of the Western Cape High Court following an application by the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), also known as the Hawks, for a preservation order in terms of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA). Hawks spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha said people who had been victims of the Platinum Forex Group should contact investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Hardenberg at 021 918 3354 or HardenbergJ@saps.gov.za

According to reports, Platinum Forex CC lured investors with promises of returns as high as 84 percent.

“From our understanding, the company started running in 2009, but our investigations started in 2012,” Captain Ramovha said.

In August last year, a month after his assets had been frozen, Mr Davids posted a message on Facebook in which he refered to “defamatory allegations” against the company.

In another Facebook post the same month, he tells investors that the company’s auditors and accounting firm proved “Platinum Forex Group trades profitably, that we are not a Ponzi scheme, that none of our clients lost money, that all our funds are safe with our bankers and brokers. That we have so much money that we should be a bank. We are very close to put this challenging episode behind us and see to the well-being and wishes of our clients.”

His Facebook posts attracted dozens of comments, all complimentary, including messages such as “I never stopped believing in PF. You are the best of the best”, “Weapons may form… but, they won’t prosper”. One message, ostensibly from controversial Reverend Oscar Peter Bougardt, known for his homophobic statements in the press, wrote: “Never doubt you guys, you are men of integrity.”

On Sunday May 15, Mr Davids’s Facebook post was more demure. “Adverse circumstances and challenges reveal hearts, character, motives and loyalties,” he wrote.