Mandla Lamba’s companies are not registered to render any financial advice : FSCA
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It came as no surprise when the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) released a warning about Mandla Lamba last week. Lamba was unmasked a few years ago as a fraudster.
Lamba, who 10 years ago dubbed himself to be South Africa's youngest billionaire, was revealed as lying about his business holdings. When his shady business was unmasked, Lamba disappeared. He also served time in jail for culpable homicide.
Lamba recently resurfaced as a businessman with a company that promised "too good to be true" investment returns.
Investors in his "billionaires' club" were promised a "guaranteed" income of up to R1 million per month in exchange for an investment of just R150 000.
The investment scheme was also endorsed by TV personality Somizi Mhlongo. Lamba sold shares in his electric vehicle venture, Agilitee – supposedly as part of a special discount. He offered shares worth R50 000 at R5 000.
In a statement, the financial watchdog said it received information that Lamba is conducting an unregistered business and offering shares to members of the public on social media and other broadcasting platforms, promising them unrealistic returns.
"The FSCA points out that Mandla Lamba is not authorised to render any financial advice and intermediary services.
FSCA said Lamba was linked to amongst other companies – Mandla Lamba Billionaires Club, Agilitee, Verityhurst Academy, and Verityhurst Capital – and said that it should be noted that the below companies are also not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act.
This is not the first time that Lamba has been running a company that wasn't registered.
It is alleged that Lamba masterminded several fraudulent deals and online scams through which he made a small fortune to finance his lavish lifestyle.
A number of years ago, he had a company named Godforth Life Assurance, which, among other things, sold funeral policies and insurance to young people. The company was never registered.
In 2011, Lamba appeared in Orlando Magistrate's Court on charges of fraud for allegedly swindling taxi owners out of hundreds of thousands of rands. The charges related to an alleged scam where Lamba approached taxi owners and promised to help them acquire new taxis. The taxi owners then paid a deposit of R40 000, and when nothing materialised, they laid charges. Lamba also faced a charge of theft involving about R480 000.
The FSCA warns members of the public to always check that an entity or individual is registered with the FSCA to provide financial services and what category of advice the entity is registered to provide.
"There are instances where persons are registered to provide basic advisory services for a low-risk product and then offer services of a far more complex and risky nature," it said.