Claiming they were promised payouts with interest as high as 440%, they marched to the Touws River police station demanding to speak to the officer investigating the case, who they claim is blocking payouts.
Touws River police captain Zamoxolo Ntshwaxa said: “We estimate about 800 people protested, demanding to speak to the investigating officer over payouts of their investments in a ponzi scheme.
“Seven people were arrested and will appear in the Worcester Magistrate’s court (today) on charges of public violence.”
Worcester resident Rodney Visagie said the protesters were investors in the 4th Power Investment scheme from across the Boland region.
“We had gone to the 4th Power director David Cupido’s home.
“He told us that due to the investigation he has been unable to pay out our money. Since the Hawks pounced last year, there have been no payouts, the banks refuse to do business with Cupido and we must speak to Colonel De Villiers who is investigating him.”
Visagie said that they still believed in Cupido, and they would not lay complaints against him.
The police had informed the group of a meeting with the investigating officer and Cupido later this week, he said, and more investors from Cape Town and the Garden Route are expected to join.
The scheme, 4th Power Investment, had stopped paying investors in September last year.
This came after the Hawks had begun their investigation into the scheme led by local pastor Cupido.
His offices were raided by police who seized equipment, including computers, from his home. The scheme’s banking accounts were frozen, leaving thousands of investors without the money promised.
Touws River resident Franswa Pietersen said he did not believe Cupido anymore as he had broken his word too many times, and even rejected options to proceed with payouts by lawyers.
Spokesperson for 4th Power Investment Ronel Pullin said she could not comment without the permission of Cupido at this time.
Hawks spokesperson Lloyd Ramovha rejected what he called “malicious” claims made by the protesters through social media and set the record straight.
“Contrary to what the investors are reportedly being told, it is not true that we are blocking payments. If anything, we would like to encourage 4th Power/Mr Cupido to go ahead and pay the investors as there is no hold on the said accounts,” he said.
Ramovha said the investigations continue.
He urged investors to continue to co-operate in terms of availing themselves for affidavits to the investigating officer in this case.
4th Power investors are urged to contact Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth De Villiers on 071 481 6908, 021 918 3568 or e-mail: [email protected]