Johannesburg - Afro pop star Vusi Nova yesterday appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court charged with fraud and money laundering totalling almost R1million.

Nova, 34, whose real name is Vusimuzi Nongxa, is alleged to have defrauded an elderly Joburg couple.

The musician is facing nine counts of fraud and one count of money laundering.

Nongxa and his co-accused, Jonathan Searle, 45, allegedly swindled the late Leon Kruger and his wife Catharina Johanna Kruger between 2011 and 2014.

Searle allegedly misrepresented himself to the Krugers as Dr Joseph Safra, the chairperson of Safrasa Investments, with Nongxa named as the managing director.

In November 2011 Searle offered the Krugers nonexistent jobs at Safrasa with the promise that they would receive monthly salaries of R165 000 and R85 000 respectively.

The false employment also included benefits such as medical aid, transport and phone expenses. The SA Music Awards winner allegedly signed the false employment contract with the Krugers.

After signing, the Krugers were required to pay shares valued at R42m to secure employment with Safrasa, R41m of which would be subsidised by the company, and they would only need to pay R1.1m.

The Krugers then paid about R830000 into Safrasa's account between 2011 and 2012, and Searle borrowed a further R55000 from the Krugers as a loan to assist Nongxa with family problems.

Despite the payments, the Krugers never received their jobs, salaries, benefits and shares from Searle and Nongxa or Safrasa. It was also revealed that Searle was not Dr Safra, but is Aeghatidis Andreas Socrate, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

Leon Kruger passed away in June 2015.

Nongxa in out on bail, while his co-accused remains in custody.

The Star