Investors in Sharemax Investments are ­mobilising themselves into action groups in an attempt to recoup R4.5bn invested in various property schemes. File photo.
JOHANNESBURG - Disgruntled investors in Sharemax Investments are ­mobilising themselves into action groups in an attempt to recoup the R4.5billion invested by 33000 investors in the various property syndication schemes marketed and promoted by the company.

However, Chris Momberg, a committee member of one of the action groups, said they were being frustrated by Nova Property Group, the rescue vehicle born out of a scheme of arrangement following the collapse of Sharemax Investments in 2010, in their attempts to get access to the debenture register.

Momberg said Nova had supplied a list of names of debenture holders, but not their contact details, which was useless.He claimed they were entitled to the register, but chief executive of the Nova Group, Dominique Haese, had denied this and put the phone down on him.

Momberg, fighting to re­claim the R277000 invested in Sharemax by his late mother and father, claimed Nova chairperson Connie Myburgh and chief executive Haese had hijacked “R4.5bn worth of our properties via the scheme of arrangement that was approved by the Reserve Bank,” despite not investing a cent into it.

He said Myburgh and Haese were taking R5million a year in salaries, and now owned 100percent of Nova, which has got all the buildings.

Momberg said six investors in the former Sharemax had committed suicide, and referred to an article written by Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk, in which he claimed the Sharemax saga was the ­biggest corporate capture South Africa had ever seen.

“Criminal charges were laid in 2010 against the original guys, including against (former Sharemax chief executive) ­Willie Botha, who are the guys who took us to the cleaners.

“Criminal charges were laid again in 2014, but what has come of it? The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is not doing anything about it,” said Momberg.

“There has been money laundering and criminality.

“But everybody is in bed with one another. It’s like the Broederbond; everybody is ­covering up for one another,” he claimed.

Momberg was speaking to investors on Friday after the planned resumption of an adjourned creditors’ meeting in November.

Attempts to obtain comment from Haese were unsuccessful.

Graeme Polson, the chairperson of the debenture creditors meeting, further adjourned the creditors meeting until ­September 26.

Nova was proposing to debenture holders a listing of the property syndications and the conversion of debentures to shares in a proposed JSE-listed company.

Sharemax Investments collapsed in 2010 after the finding by a registrar of banks investigation that Sharemax’s funding model had contravened the Bank Act became public knowledge.

This led to new investments drying up, and Sharemax being unable to make monthly payments to investors. The subsequent scheme of arrangement led to the creation of Nova.

The registrar of banks laid criminal charges against Sharemax for alleged contraventions of the Banks Act in March 2012.

The Hawks confirmed investigating Sharemax, but to date no charges have been brought against anyone associated with the failed investment scheme.

Charl Kriek, representing a trust that had investments in Sharemax, told Friday’s meeting a debenture had a maturity date, and the capital had to be returned to the debenture holder on that date, which Nova had failed to do.

Kriek said a debenture had to be issued in a specific way, and if Nova did not follow the specific regulations, the debenture was not valid.

- BUSINESS REPORT