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Sharemax...The Politics published ... Citizen Alert ZA in December 2011


The Sharemax Politics

December 2011 23:01 Special Report Podcast: Niki Vontas – CEO, Bonatla
Interviewer Profile
Alec Hogg is a writer and broadcaster.
He founded Moneyweb and is its editor-in-chief.

Download this interview
Sharemax: Liquidation averted? Niki Vontas - CEO, Bonatla (excerpt)

Niki Vontas cries foul says communication process to shareholders is flawed.
ALEC HOGG: It’s Tuesday December 13 2011 and in this Boardroom Talk special podcast, Niki Vontas, chief executive of Bonatla Property, joins us now. Niki, good to have you on the programme, there’s been big developments in the Sharemax saga. From your perspective though, you did propose a rescue scheme and walked away, why? What was the background to that?

NIKI VONTAS: I put together a proposal that was originally accepted by the directors of Sharemax and they circulate it to the constituencies. Unfortunately, if you remember, there were a lot of public debates and public analysis in the Financial Mail or the Finance Week in which I commented and obviously I commented on controversial findings of my due diligence and they invoked this disclosures to the press for canceling the transaction summarily for disclosure of, for a breach of non-disclosure, which I find very funny because the press knew almost as much I knew already.

ALEC HOGG: So, you didn’t really walk away it was more a question of being kicked out.

NIKI VONTAS: I need to tell you I still haven’t walked away, there could be still some surprises but I cannot comment on that yet.

ALEC HOGG: But at the moment shareholders or investors, 35 000 of them, at Sharemax have actually voted in favour of a rescue scheme that’s being decided on right now. You don’t think it’s such a good idea?

NIKI VONTAS: Well, first obviously I wouldn’t like to comment on the process but from the little I’ve seen, if you visit the Sharemax website you’ll see that there’s less than 200 people visiting that website a day, there’s very little visits. What you find generally speaking in this doomed [UNCLEAR] syndication schemes like Bluezone that we salvaged or Sharemax or [UNCLEAR] or Realcor, you’ll find that the investors are generally older investors, generally Afrikaans, they haven’t got an email address, they haven’t got proper communication skills and they really rely on [UNCLEAR] communication to get decisions or information passed onto them. So, what I dispute really is that the process is completely flawed. I don’t believe that proper documentation has been circulated to investors to allow them whether or not they will get the investment of such a long period as [UNCLEAR] ten years and what Magnus Heystek, in fact, commented on the Business Report is absolutely right. It’s a total circus.

ALEC HOGG: It’s a circus you say?

NIKI VONTAS: It’s a total circus…[UNCLEAR] a total circus because if you want to put a proposal to 30 000 or 40 000 people on most probably the biggest failure in physical property in South Africa, you at least make the owner of at least the proper analysis of the merit or the pitfalls, you give feasibilities, you give time value of money, your present value, the returns over such a long period. You give them some form of information to ponder about and you don’t give them such a short time basically. Basically to me it’s a little bit of a hit and run operation that’s basically the way I consider it.

ALEC HOGG: From a business perspective though, can this rescue plan that has been proposed work?

NIKI VONTAS: I don’t think so. You’ll find that the Sharemax [UNCLEAR] is not finished, you’ll find some further applications for liquidations, further litigation. Obviously by now the investors are desperate and therefore they are going to consider anything but I still believe that in property there is always a solution. Sometimes if the difficulties are extreme, like in Sharemax, the solutions are more extreme but I still believe its investors deserve proper information in order to make a proper decision. They should, I think…if you want to talk to shareholders you can work like in the old Company Act, [UNCLEAR] to get special resolutions, you conduct meetings, you’ve got quorums and things like that. I haven’t seen anything of that sort. It looks like a bosberaad and the next day you basically announce a 99.9% approval. Last time I’ve seen that it was 1938 and 1939 in Hitler’s referendum. So, my feeling, you need to apply corporate governance, the new companies act, you need to apply proper process to give the time and information to investors to decide whether or not these solutions be good for them an what applies for them, applies for anybody. If I do that transaction, they should also call special meetings and give information and give analysis and ask the press to comment. This thing is a little bit of an occult operation.

ALEC HOGG: Do you know Connie Myburgh, the lawyer who’s behind this rescue scheme?

NIKI VONTAS: Yes, I’ve heard about him, yes.

ALEC HOGG: I believe our investigation journalist, Julius Cobbett, says that he was one of those who vigorously defended the Garek disaster. Lots of people lost much money there as well. What is his motive in this? Are you saying that his motive perhaps is questionable?

NIKI VONTAS: I believe Mr. Myburgh was involved also, if I remember, with Colin Barnard and the fiasco on the Melrose Arch deal with the mine pension fund in 2004, on which I think the late Ian Fife put some very nice article on them, so there must be a bibliography on the SM available if [UNCLEAR]

ALEC HOGG: So, if the courts are to sanction this, would you then try to go to court to get it reversed?

NIKI VONTAS: No, we’ve got other things pending but I cannot believe a court, looking at the way this process was handled, is going to sanction it. I don’t believe a proper judge is going to sanction a process like that. It’s the biggest failure in property in South Africa with 40 000 or 45 000 victims that are asked to give the money over and most of them, I can guarantee you, will be dead before the last payment because they are generally - the syndication investors in all these schemes – are generally retired people, who unfortunately invested their life savings in a property investment with obviously a property and a financial risk and therefore they lost their investment and now ask to receive the return on the investment through their estates because a lot of them won’t survive that [UNCLEAR], I can tell you that.

ALEC HOGG: Niki, outside of Sharemax there’s another controversial property issue going on at the moment, where the shareholders in a company called Accentuate or 26% shareholders there are tackling the management on a lease that was signed by the management before the property was sold. Do you have any insight into this?

NIKI VONTAS: Well, no, I’m quite aware of that transaction, all I can comment from what I…and I pursued it over the last year as well, all I can comment is that first if you as a director are involved in a property company and you’re obviously a director of the operating company, which is listed on the AltX I think, you should technically, if you sell that property company or the property you should have a related party circular, whereby you recuse yourself from any voting on your shares and you allow your shareholders to decide if this deal is good or bad for the company. I don’t think this process was followed and the other comment that I have is that if you do a leaseback, industrial leaseback, traditionally the operating company sells its property by signing a lease and obviously receives the proceeds from the sale of the property. In this case the property went into a ten year onerous lease but without receiving any proceeds from any sale. The proceeds of the sale went obviously to the shareholders of the property company or the directors, I suppose, and therefore there’s no merit whatsoever. If I was in the property company I would have only signed a three or four year lease or five year lease because it doesn’t help you to be on the [UNCLEAR] for ten years for the benefit of somebody else who’s unrelated to your operations.

ALEC HOGG: You call it an onerous lease, is it above market rates?

NIKI VONTAS: It is, I would say it is. There is obviously, although it’s an industrial area, they could argue that the ratio of non-industrial space to office space is not the same because traditionally in industrial property you find that 80% of your space is industrial and perhaps 15% to 20% of the gross lettable area is offices, in this Steeledale property you’ll find the ratio of office is higher but still I believe Steeledale is Steeledale, it’s not a prime area anymore. It used to be a good industrial area in the olden days of apartheid but for the new change of…since 1994 a lot of the old industrial areas, which are very largely your areas in the south were generally created to separate the white townships from the black townships. Now it’s not anymore the case. Your new industrial areas are created just for the economic value, not anymore for a demarcation between racial groups. I think all the…I visited, in fact, two or three of these industrial areas like Troyeville and Booysens, all these areas are basically declining quite substantially at the present moment because there’s an exodus of these industrial tenants towards your Lindor Parks [UNCLEAR], your Medowdale, all your new generation industrial townships.

ALEC HOGG: How did you get involved in investigating the Accentuate deal?

NIKI VONTAS: I put an offer two years ago, I put an offer last year, which obviously didn’t succeed.

ALEC HOGG: Because you were…for what reason?

NIKI VONTAS: Well, I was not satisfied with the transaction.

ALEC HOGG: Oh I see, so you actually had the opportunity to see the transaction and you felt that it wasn’t fair?

NIKI VONTAS: Well, I’ll tell you want makes me nervous. In a similar transaction what you should do technically if you want to be really fair the director should engage with the company in which they’re also directors, I suppose, the listed company, and say, listen guys we want to get out of this property transaction, we want to sell back the property to Accentuate, so the tenants must buy the property at a market related price so there’s no conflict of interest. So, suddenly now Accentuate is the owner of the property company, okay at a market related value, so the directors obviously take the proceeds, cash the proceeds. But now Accentuate at least can sign the ten year lease after having received its proceeds from the sale. So, the correct way to do it would be to sell back the property to Accentuate and allow Accentuate to do the ten year lease with the new buyer. That would have been much more fair.

ALEC HOGG: What would the difference in value be for this property without a ten year lease and with a ten year lease?

NIKI VONTAS: Well, what counts is not the length of the lease, it’s the confident of the tenant. [UNCLEAR]. My argument is that your lease is first as good as the tenant, the property is really a pretext. In property investment you could have a big tent in the Kalahari desert with Microsoft as a ten year tenant, it’s better to have that and have the cash flow than having a beautiful marble building in Steeledale with Accentuate as a tenant for ten years.

ALEC HOGG: So, in other words it’s the ten year lease that’s the important part here. What would that be worth on this…?

NIKI VONTAS: What counts is the discounted cash flow of this lease, basically it’s all the ten year income streams, which your present value at a discount rate, which is your [UNCLEAR] rate, which takes into consideration the risk free, let’s say the total return from the bond market, which is a risk free rate, plus a little risk premium attached to the risk of this property, its location, its age, the Accentuate financial covenant. So you could discount anywhere at around I would say 16% to 18% discount rate. If you discount this cash flow of this ten year lease at this rate you will arrive at a net present value, which will give you the value of the property.

ALEC HOGG: And roughly, this property, what would the deal have gone through at?

NIKI VONTAS: I would hesitate to give you my comment on that.

ALEC HOGG: But what were you prepared to pay for it with a ten year lease?

NIKI VONTAS: Me, I took the income and, if I remember, I capitalised at around 13% yield. If I can give an example at the present moment, prime property transactions are arrived at at capitalising the first year net income from rental at around 9%. The Accentuate deal I would have capitalised at 13% because I would have expected a much higher initial return, taking into consideration the risks. So, I touched around the 13% return. But obviously my deal didn’t arrive because it was not acceptable.

ALEC HOGG: But in rand terms what would that make it worth?

NIKI VONTAS: Try to remember, to tell you the truth…

ALEC HOGG: Is it a R5m deal or a R20m deal?

NIKI VONTAS: No, no, no, it was, if I recall, it was a R7m or R8m deal, if I recall.

ALEC HOGG: All right, so it’s not a huge deal then.

NIKI VONTAS: No, it was not a major consideration because ultimately it was a B grade industrial property in a B grade industrial area. Also, if I recall, there were other tenants in that property [UNCLEAR], if I can remember.

ALEC HOGG: Niki Vontas, the chief executive of Bonatla.

The luxurious lives of Sharemax bosses
2011-11-13 10:00

Jaques Pauw
This is the luxury life of the two top managers of collapsed property syndication company Sharemax – while thousands of investors have lost most, if not all, of their money.

City Press has traced about R250 million of assets owned by trusts and companies of Sharemax’s former managing director, Willie Botha, and his marketing manager, Andre Brand.

Botha and Brand were, for almost a decade, at the helm of Sharemax as about 40 000 people invested an estimated R5 billion in the company’s 50 property syndicates.

The Reserve Bank ruled in May last year that Sharemax had contravened the Banks Act and had illegally collected deposits from investors.

City Press can reveal this week that one of Brand’s acquaintances, Wietz Nell, has handed incriminating documents and information to the police’s Hawks unit.

The Hawks would not say whether they have launched an investigation against Botha and Brand.

In the documents, Brand accused Botha in a memorandum of illegally pocketing at least R9?million of money intended for investors.

Brand also alleged that Botha had, over a period of four years, pocketed R53 million in “commission” from a Sharemax front company. Brand demanded a R24.5 million share from Botha.

Botha this week ignored multiple attempts to get comment.

Brand said this week that Nell had obtained the documents dishonestly, but he did not deny their veracity.

Brand said that he had in the meantime cleared his complaint with Botha and that he withdrew any allegations against him. He said he now believed the money was paid legally to Botha.

Tomorrow, a group of Sharemax investors plan to bring an urgent court application to declare Sharemax bankrupt, and to freeze the assets of Botha and Brand.

Among the assets that the investors want frozen is Botha’s luxury yacht, which he keeps in the Egyptian port of Hurghada in the Red Sea.

The Italian-designed Scuba Scene is apparently worth between R120 million and R150 million, and is wholly owned by the Willem Botha Family Trust.

The boat has its own website and is described as “43 metres of classic nautical beauty and luxury”.

It says the Scuba Scene is a “true marvel of design, technology and style to provide all its passengers with an aesthetically pleasing masterpiece”.

The investors also want to ask the high court to prevent Brand from selling his 3 000 hectare game farm near Thabazimbi in Limpopo.

The game farm, Thaba Motswere, has been valued at R79 million, and has giraffe, eland, kudu, gemsbok, cheetah and leopard.

The farm’s lodge alone cost Brand an estimated R20 million to build and resembles a five-star hotel with all possible amenities.
Brand is desperate to sell the farm and even considered a price of R21.5 million last month.

Botha has an equally luxurious game farm in Marken in Limpopo that is thought to be worth even more as it has the Big Five – elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and cheetah.

Botha lives in a double-storey villa in the exclusive Silver Lakes Estate in Pretoria. Brand recently signed a contract to sell his mansion in Mooikloof in Pretoria for R15 million.

Botha was in August “relieved” of his duties and resigned as director. Brand has also since left the company.

In September, the Reserve Bank put Sharemax under statutory management, ordering Sharemax to repay its investors, but there was no money left to do so.

The documents that City Press obtained shows that after Botha and Brand had left Sharemax, they were still paid R15 million commission.

The company that is managing Sharemax on behalf of the Reserve Bank, Frontier Asset Management and Investments, did not respond to queries this week.

A forensic auditor, André Prakke, studied the documents obtained by City Press and concluded that there was evidence of money laundering, theft and fraud.

Prakke says that 80% of the money that was invested in Sharemax is gone.

Prakke has investigated Sharemax for many years and has submitted statements about the company to the high court.

He says that the commission that Brand refers to in his memos to Botha has never been revealed in any of Sharemax’s property portfolios.

- City Press


By: Jacques Pauw

2011-11-13 00:20
’n Superluukse boot van meer as R120 miljoen, wildplase van meer as R100 miljoen en rykmanshuise is ván die weelde waarmee Sharemax se twee topbestuurders hulself omring terwyl duisende beleggers nie meer rente op hul beleggings verdien nie en waarskynlik hul geld kwyt is.

Rapport het R250 miljoen se bates opgespoor wat mnr. Willie Botha, die voormalige besturende direkteur van dié mislukte eiendomsindikaat­, en sy bemarkingsdirekteur, mnr. ­André Brand, gesamentlik besit. Botha en Brand was bykans ’n dekade lank aan die stuur van Sharemax.

In dié tyd het sowat 40 000 beleggers, onder wie talle bejaardes, ’n geraamde R5 miljard in 50 eiendom­sindikate belê.

Die Reserwebank het in Mei verlede jaar bevind Sharemax oortree die bankwet en het onwettig deposito’s van beleggers ingesamel.

Rapport kan ook onthul mnr. Wietz Nell, een van Brand se sakekennisse, het die afgelope week inkriminerende dokumentasie aan die Valke oorhandig.

Die Valke wou nie sê of hulle ’n ondersoek teen Botha en Brand begin het nie.

In dié dokumentasie, wat ook in Rapport se besit is, beskuldig Brand Botha in ’n memorandum daarvan dat hy na bewering R9 miljoen van die beleggers se rentegeld onwettig in sy sak gesteek het.

Brand beweer Botha het benewens die betaling van R9 miljoen ook glo oor ’n tydperk van vier jaar sowat R53 miljoen se “kommissie” van ’n frontmaatskappy van Sharemax ontvang.

Brand sê hy het self nie sy regmatige deel gekry nie en eis R24,5 miljoen van Botha.

Botha het die afgelope week geweier om sy e-posadres aan Rapport te verskaf om vrae te beantwoord.

Teen middernag Vrydag het hy egter ’n reaksie van ses bladsye lank gestuur en die aantyging teen hom ten sterkste ontken.

Brand sê Nell het die dokumentasie onder valse voorwendsels bekom.

Hy het nie die egtheid van die dokumente en dat hy die skrywer van die memorandum is ontken nie.

Brand sê hy het intussen alle onduidelikhede met Botha uitgeklaar en is nou tevrede Botha het dié geld regmatig verdien.

Hy sê hy trek alle aantygings teen Botha terug.

Intussen beplan ’n groep beleggers om vandeesweek ’n dringende interdik in die hooggeregshof in Pretoria te bring om Sharemax bankrot te laat verklaar en Botha en Brand se bates te bevries.

Onder die bates wat die beleggers wil bevries, is Botha se luukse jag wat hy in ’n hawe in Hurghada aan die Rooi See in Egipte hou.

Die Italiaans ontwerpte Scuba Scene is glo tussen R120 en R150 miljoen werd en word deur die Willem Botha-familietrust besit.

Dié boot het sy eie webtuiste waarop dit beskryf word as “43 m se klassieke seevaart-prag en luuksheid” wat aan die verwagting van die kieskeurigste reisiger sal voldoen.

Die Scuba Scene het 13 en suite-kajuite, elk met sy eie TV en lugversorging. Die boot het ’n bemanning van 14, insluitende ’n maritieme ingenieur en ’n sjef.

Die beleggers wil die hof ook vra om Brand te verhinder om Thabo Motswere, sy wildplaas van nagenoeg 3 000ha naby Thabazimbi in Limpopo, te verkoop.

Die plaas is vir R79 miljoen gewaardeer en daar is onder meer kameelperde, elande, gemsbokke, jagluiperds en luiperds.

Die huis op die plaas het meer as R20 miljoen gekos en het die weelde van ’n vyfsterhotel.

Brand – sy dogter is verloof aan die Springbok-senter Wynand Olivier – probeer van die plaas ontslae raak en was verlede maand bereid om dit vir R21,5 miljoen te verkoop.

Hy wou dit in kontant hê.

Botha het ’n ewe luukse en nog groter wildplaas naby Marken in Limpopo wat nog meer werd kan wees omdat hy die Groot Vyf op sy plaas aanhou.

Botha woon in ’n luukse dubbelverdieping-villa in die eksklusiewe Silver Lakes-landgoed in Pretoria.

Brand het pas ’n kontrak onderteken om sy luukse huis in Mooikloof in Pretoria vir R15 miljoen te verkoop.

Nadat die Reserwebank bevind het Sharemax het die bankwet oortree, is Botha van sy pligte “onthef” en hy het as direkteur bedank. Brand het “uitgetree”.

Sharemax is in September verlede jaar onder die Reserwebank se bestuur geplaas.

Die Reserwebank het Sharemax beveel om die beleggers terug te betaal, maar daar was nie geld daarvoor nie.

Die nuwe, sogenaamde onafhanklike bestuur van Sharemax het reeds erken dat beleggers die grootste deel van hul beleggings gaan verloor.

Die dokumentasie in Rapport se besit toon nadat Botha en Brand by Sharemax weg is, het hulle nog bykans R15 miljoen se “kommissie” verdien.

Die maatskappy wat Sharemax namens die Reserwebank bedryf, Frontier Asset Management and Investments, het nie die afgelope week op navrae gereageer nie.

’n Forensiese ouditeur, mnr. ­André Prakke, het die afgelope week Rapport se dokumentasie bestudeer en gesê op sigwaarde is daar aanduidings van bedrog, diefstal en geldwassery.

Prakke ondersoek en bestudeer Sharemax al jare lank en sê hy glo sowat 80% van beleggers se geld is weg.

Hy sê die kommissies waarna Brand in sy briewe aan Botha verwys, is nooit in enige van Sharemax se prospektusse verklaar nie.


Dawie Roodt resigns.
New plan for investors to own The Villa and Zambezi.

The latest plan to come out of Sharemax will see investors in the two largest syndications, Zambezi and The Villa, getting ownership of the underlying incomplete shopping centres. This is a complete about-turn on a previous proposal which would see investors being repaid their funds over nearly two decades. And details are scarce as to how investors hope to raise the money that is required to transfer these buildings.

Meanwhile Dawie Roodt, who was appointed independent director and spokesman for the syndication companies, tendered his resignation on Friday. Roodt was hesitant to divulge the reason for his resignation.

“I don’t think I can make a contribution to the [restructuring] process anymore,” says Roodt. “I think it’s also safe to say there were some disagreements.”

Roodt emphasised that he still believes that a proposed scheme of arrangement is preferable to the alternative, which would likely result in liquidation of investors’ companies. However, Roodt notes that the scheme of arrangement can be done in many different ways, some of which would be more investor-friendly than others.

Roodt was one of a trio of directors who were appointed in November last year to add independence to the Sharemax syndication companies. The other directors were High Court judge Willie Hartzenberg and accountant Rudi Badenhorst, who will continue to render their services to investors.

The original proposal, presented to the High Court earlier this year, planned for investors in Zambezi and The Villa to be repaid their money over nearly two decades.

On Thursday Sharemax successor Frontier Asset Management issued an update (click here to download) in which it noted that the boards of Zambezi and The Villa had “gleaned the general wish of investors to have ownership” of the shopping centres.

But the update was silent on how the companies hope to pay the outstanding amounts that are allegedly owed to Capicol, the developer of the two malls. Last year arbitration proceedings found that Zambezi investors owed Capicol R64.5m to purchase the property. However, Capicol claimed it was owed a further several hundred million in alleged damages.

Investors in Zambezi and The Villa have yet to receive a circular providing the finer details of the proposed compromise. Thursday’s update says it hopes to dispatch circulars in the latter part of August 2011. Formal meetings are expected to be held in September.

Meanwhile, the costs of the rescue plan are being borne by investors in the income-producing syndications. It is proposed that these investors eventually be repaid by shareholders of Zambezi and The Villa.

To date, the directors of the Sharemax syndication companies have not disclosed the legal costs that have come out of the recovery efforts. The lawyer leading these efforts is Connie Myburgh. Moneyweb readers may remember Myburgh for his aggressive defence of Garek, a scheme which cost its investors many millions of rand.

Inside Sharemax Zambezi's compromise
How much can investors hope to recover?

Sharemax fails to settle with Capicol
Sharemax board unable to pay R64m, Capicol...

Sharemax shareholder update
Statement from the board of directors of the...

Sharemax directors propose a solution
Read the directors' statement on the...

Can Sharemax's The Villa be rescued?
Former MD Willem Botha has a plan, but finer...

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Pierre Hough

I have been contacted by many people who are in real fear of their livelihood, their existence. They have been kicked out of their homes, their income eroded. In their mindset the capital and income thereon has been lost. Their ‘current situation’ is one of desperation. For them, Sharemax and PIC Syndications (now Pickvest) has become a life-changing event. An ongoing saga, bombarded by confusing statements, all aimed at inspiring fear and uncertainty in their minds. Will they be sucked into a collective mindset?

In minority, will they be swept away by a sea of others caught up in looming disaster - a tsunami - where their voices won’t be heard? Helpless, they cannot fend for themselves as they are being dragged or tagged along against their free will.

Some threaten suicide. Their family life and marriages are in tatters. Relationships have been torn apart. For some it is déjà vu – parents or friends’ family committed suicide in scams such as Masterbond.

In times like these I am reminded of what I read is also ‘Concussio’ (concussie, afpersing or knevelry – different names for the same offence):

“He who from improper motives and by inspiring fear in the mind of another, demands from, and compels the latter to render some advantage which is not due” is guilty of the crime of extortion. “

If subjected to fear and not up for ‘the take’, it is attempted extortion.

That is how some people I met feel about being told there was “gleaned the general wish of investors to have ownership” of an incomplete shopping centre when they were promised their money would be safe in an attorneys trust account. They were presented with a prospectus by financial service providers that when one day they become shareholders linked to a debenture, they would earn income in a property investment. It turned out to be an illegal scheme of a purported banker who is no bank. Now the stare into a dark incomplete untenanted non-income earning disaster. They also could withdraw the applications at a fee of R250 at any time before the effective date, being the date on which the immovable property would be transferred into the syndication vehicle company.

In my view, it is a massive misrepresentation to say there was “gleaned the general wish to have ownership” when in truth and reality, everyone that has contacted me just want out. They want their money back, plus interest.

I’m afraid that I have in the last few days said far too much as a single commentator on Moneyweb about the Sharemax and PICKVEST (previously PIC Syndications) fiasco. I felt compelled to help clear up the uncertainty.

So forgive me for being straightforward, blunt and to the bone but I also say (nay scream): “Damn it all, a person has the right to be who he is!” [Clare W. Graves]

I will send this comment to the Deputy Registrar of Banks and appeal to him to respond to those from whom it can never ever be gleaned a wish to have such ownership.

Financial Virgin

Connie Myburgh was also the attorney who got severely "klapped" acting for the Robbie Wray in the case of golfing estate Blair Atholl against the conservationists in the area. Wray and Myburgh were ordered to pay all legal costs and more.
Ons onthou jou van RAU se dae Connie.......


These are the law enforcement agencies that the Financial Intelligence Centre interacts with.
South African Police Service (SAPS) South African Revenue Service (SARS) National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) Special Investigations Unit (SIU)
Why are the above agencies not doing anything about the situation if there was anything illegal about this whole story which got the South African Reservebank involved .
What are the true facts.
Was this scheme illegal or not and at what stage or point in time if there was any wrongdoing will these law enforcement agencies get involved .
Is it up to the Reservebank to instruct a more thorough investigation into the financial affairs or not ?


It was the illegal release of the trust funds that started the whole feeding frenzy and made a joke of all the investor safeguards provided for in the Unfair Business Practices Act. Go for them Pierre. You have a lot of support out here - how about us starting a fund to pay a bounty on each one of those involved being put behind bars. - L. Oldacre

Pierre Hough

Bounty hunter? I think if I lived way back in the Wild Wild West, I'd have been a Judge, Bounty Hunter, Executioner just so I could ride off in the sunset on horseback every time. I wonder how many people read these articles and comments on Moneyweb? Start the fund. Keep me posted! (only joking!) The Masterbond Trust trio if they will ever in the lives forget my name. There's a few others as well I met along the way ...

in reply to L.Oldacre


Who appointed Myburgh?


Enforcement Unit Staff
Kindly note that complaints should not be addressed to the Enforcement Committee or the Enforcement Unit of the FSB. Complaints should be lodged with the relevant Registrar, who will decide on a possible inspection, investigation and referral to the Enforcement Committee. Head of Department: Gerhard van Deventer +27 12 428 8015Fax:  +27 12 347 Enforcement Counsel: Sisanda Mrwetyana +27 12 428 8107Fax:  +27 12 347 Enforcement Counsel: Deva Govender +27 12 428 8003Fax:  +27 12 347
Johannesburg - Investors in Sharemax's property syndicates could this week for the first time get an independent look at the condition of the companies in which they invested their money.
The 15 days that Bonatla Property Holdings [JSE:BNT] received to conduct a due diligence into the operations of the 39 property companies in the Sharemax stable expires this week.
Bonatla CEO Niki Vontas solemnly undertook to email Sake24 if he came upon any irregularities.
Bonatla received the right to investigate the syndications after Sharemax's board accepted Bonatla's offer to buy the property companies in the Sharemax group for R4.95bn.
The offer is still subject to the approval of investors in the different companies.
The due diligence investigation has encountered hiccups because Sharemax neglected to make available several documents to which Bonatla was entitled in terms of the contract between the two groups.
The results of the due diligence will indicate not only whether something is out of place somewhere, it will also give investors an different idea of the worth of the syndication property.
This could prove interesting because various analysts reckon Sharemax has inflated the value of these properties.
The purchase price in the original announcement of the offer was based on the syndication value of all the properties.
The final price that will be offered to each of the companies will be determined by discounting the revenue streams that each of the properties offer against yield.
According to Vontas it's already evident that many of the properties are not offering revenue streams that make an offer worthwhile.
Also, Bonatla cannot make offers for the companies in which investors in Zambezi Retail and The Villa have invested, because the Sharemax companies do not physically own the properties in which investors have invested.
Capicol, the contractor that is developing the two centres for Sharemax, owns the properties. This week Capicol entered into an agreement with Sharemax in terms of which it will go ahead with the two centres on its own. Investors in the centres no longer receive interest, but Capicol has promised to resume paying them an income if it gets R1.15bn in funding to complete The Villa.
Vontas said investors in the other schemes should not expect too much. There are about 15 centres that are doing fairly well, to whose shareholders Bonatla shares could be offered.
Question:What are the regulators doing about the finding of the the forensic investigation outcome that was done by Bonatla last year into the financial affairs of Sharemax before it came to light that the deal has fallen through between the two companies ?

Ek lees nou al hierdie mooi stories en raad en het dieselfde op Pickvest se storie geseAlles is goed en wel,maar daar is een probleem 'n groot probleem en dit is wanneer daar opgetree moet word deur die wetstoepassers in belang van lede van die publiek dan is hulle "TOOTHLESS WATCHDOGS en LAW ENFORCERS ".Hulle beskik nie oor die nodige kennis en vermoee om hierdie wetsoortreeders vas te vat of is net plain useless.Die Hawks is nie op standaard en effektief soos die ou Skerpioene wanneer dit met die bekamping van hierdie tipe misdaad kom nie en volgens onlangse koerant berigte beskik hulle oor nie die nodige finansiele kapasiteit ( Budget ) en opgeleide mannekrag om groot witboordjie misdadigers vas te vat nie.Daar is te veel van hierdie klas van misdadigers wat maak en doen net wat hulle wil want hulle weet teen die tyd wanneer die Reserwebank of ander reguleerders wakker word het hulle alreeds soveel onomkeerbare skade verrig dat dit nie meer saak maak of daar hofsake kom of nie .Korrupsie is aan die orde van die dag. Kyk wie die grootse kriminele is in hierdie verband dan is dit nie staatsamptenare alleen nie ,maar wel one eie mense " Ons vir jou ...Suid Afrika "
Ek skaam my dood om te dink dat die ou mense ( Belggers) so in die steek gelaat is.
Die beleggers in hierdie skema van Sharemax is van die begin af mislei deur met al die mooi brosjures en praaitjies dat hulle geld veilig is en dat dit in 'n Trust rekening in die belggers se naam gehou word by die prokureurs.
Kyk wat staan op die bemarkingsmateriaal wat aan jou voorsien is.
Dit is juis dit wat 'n mens sal laat besluit dat hierdie Skema met al die probleme 'n goeie skema was om in te bele het net om nou te verneem dat jy as belegger het nooit eiendom besit waarin jy gedink jy 'n belegging in gemaak het soos bv die Zambezi Mall.
Nou na al die bakleiery en hofsake lyk dit wel of jy as belegger iets gaan besit wat nie eintlik waarde het nie omrede daar nog steeds geen rente aan jou oorbetaal gaan word nie.Waar kom die geld nou skielik vandaan om die kostes vir die onvoltooide Zambezi Projek klaar te maak.
Die Zambezi mall is alreeds meer as 'n jaar amptelik geopen sonder dat die gebou in die beleggers se naam oorgedra is.Hoe kan daar ' nou skielik n R64 miljoen rand te kort wees nadat die winkelsentrum reeds amptelik geopen is.

Hoe het hierdie mense beplan .Wat het van die reserwefondse geword wat daar ingestel moes gewees het in geval van dinge wat nou gebeur het.
Die fonds moes in plek gewees het om minstens te gesorg dat die reserwefonds gebruik sou word om minstens 'n inkomste te kon voorsien tot tyd in wyl daar oor probleme.

Dit is wreed en'n skande om te sien wat nou met ons ou mense en pensionarisse gebeur wat in hierdieskema bele het.
Dit is net so goed die promotors van hierdie skema het indirek moord gepleeg ,miskien 'n bietjie erger want baie van die beleggers sterf nou 'n stadige dood agv al angs en onsekerheid oor hulle belegging met geen inkomste vanaf Sharemax sedert September 2010.


Firms will be expected to review their current product and service offerings against TCF standards, and take appropriate action if they find that TCF outcomes are not being delivered.It also does not mean that, in evaluating whether customers are today being treated fairly, those customers who happen to hold products that were developed and purchased yesterday, are not entitled to fair treatment. In this regard, fairness outcome 5 (Customers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect) must be emphasised. Firms will be expected to deliver TCF outcomes to all their customers – including holders of legacy products. Where it becomes apparent that products sold in the past are not meeting – or are no longer meeting – the expectations initially created, firms will be expected to identify reasonable ways to improve outcomes for their customers.The FSB will also, as part of the proactive supervision approach outlined in Chapter 5, engage with firms to find appropriate solutions to any identified unfair outcomes arising from legacy products and practices.
Unless the FSB believes the risk is sufficiently serious to require immediate formal regulatory action, the FSB’s likely initial response will be to engage with the senior management concerned to reach agreement on one or more of the following, as applicable: A course of action to ensure that the identified unfair treatment stops. This could include changes in business processes, or changes in product design or withdrawal of products or promotional material. Redress for customer prejudice already caused. This could include tracing and communicating with affected or potentially affected customers. Disciplinary or other appropriate action to be taken by the firm against those responsible for unfair treatment. Training interventions.Where any such agreement is reached with a firm, explicit undertakings and timelines will be required and adherence to them will be closely monitored.Where any such agreement is not honoured by the firm concerned, or where the FSB considers that the risk to consumers is so serious, or the conduct concerned is so unacceptable, that an agreed negotiated solution will not be effective or appropriate, formal regulatory enforcement action will be taken.
The financial services board held roadshows earlier this year regarding "Treating customers fairly "etc.....
Extracts of what was said is stated above.

The question i am asking here are the investors who did their investment in through the Sharemax scheme being now being treated fairly ?

Why are they not being informed what the actual truth is ?

Why were they told that they would be receiving a 130 % of their original investment back . ( refer to the article posted for the exact story )
Now Dawie Roodt resigns and we don't have an official media statement telling us what is happening and why are the investors now not going to receive an income as stated earlier on.

The repayment of the original payment plus interest to the investor is fair and the investor should be given the option to choose to stay in this scheme or get their investment back plus interest.

To start of Sharemax should repay the 10 % that was paid to them from the investment of the investor .( That should a sign of fairness especially to the old pensioners who cannot work due to age or illness )

It was stated at the time that the 10% admin/broker fee would not have had any effect on the investment value of the investor based on the certificate issued .

. A story which is untrue as it does now seem that the investors own nothing and they are now trying to fix something that was not right from the start and was doomed to fail from the start as stated by Dawie Roodt on MNET Carte Blanche recently !

Now the Reservebank is being blamed for the failure of this scheme. ( What are they now trying to legalise if all was above board in terms of legislation ?)

Can it be taken as a fact that they were taking deposits illegally as stated by the SA Reservebank.?

Why are the customers/clients not being treated fairly in this respect or does this Sharemax fall out of the scope to treat customers fairly.
Sharemax made certain promises to their clients which they knew they could not keep,but continued doing businees after the 1 st May 2010 in doing so despite being warned by the SA Reservebank to stop . Did the deposit taking after 1 May 2010 comply with legislation.?

A circular was sent out in July 2011 from Sharemax stating that the investors money was safe and investors would continue to receive their monthly income after that letter, despite of what was happening between Sharemax and the SA Reservebank.
The question i am " Were customers being treated fairly " by telling them that despite the fact that it was known that there was serious problems and they knew they could not keep their promises to the new investors after 1 May 2010.

Does the late Deon Bassons not possibly have all the answers to all my questions ( Author of Public Interest Warrior ) The rights to this book that was sold to Sharemax after his death !

Help the helpless...Share some of your wealth ...those who have made millions out of this now failed scheme .
A Like Reply 4 months ago 6 Likes F .
Financial Virgin 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand Gloomy outlook for investors in 'shambolic' Sharemax

Thousands of people who have invested in an embattled property syndications company will have to wait with bated breath to see how much of their hard-earned money they will get back.
Negotiations are in progress to work out a deal for the company's investors, some of whom have been left in the lurch financially.
It is understood that about 40 000 shareholders, most of them pensioners, invested in Sharemax's property syndication schemes.
Despite instructions by the Reserve Bank that it pay out its investors, Sharemax does not have the funds to do so.
This is according to economist Dawie Roodt, who is also an independent director of the new Sharemax board.
Roodt said he and other directors had been brought in to help facilitate the paying out of investors. He described the company as "a complete mess".
They did not plan to liquidate the company because doing so would only leave investors worse off.
They had kept the company afloat and were now working on a deal for the investors.
Among the investors are pensioners Tony and Jacqueline Bekker, who are in their 70s and battling to keep up with their mounting bills.
They fear that by the time they have been given back the R490 000 they invested in Sharemax's syndicate the Zambezi Retail Park, they "will be dead".
According to Roodt, Sharemax has proposed that it repay investors in instalments over 10 years, and 30 percent interest over the following five years.
"That's what's on the table at the moment, but we're negotiating to see if we can get something better for investors," said Roodt.
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but investors need to know they must prepare themselves for a loss in income and possibly a loss of capital."
The Bekkers, however, are adamant that they will reject the proposal in its current form.
"While the grass is growing, the horse is dying," said Tony Bekker. "We can't wait 10 years for our money.We need it now."
Cape Times
FAIS DEPARTMENT STAFF Office of the Deputy Executive Officer : Market Conduct & Consumer Education DEO Gerry Anderson  +27 12 428 8114 Executive Secretary Denise Wolfe-Botha  +27 12 428 8119 Senior Legal Advisor Loraine van De  +27 12 428 8178Legal Advisor Karien Nel  +27 12 428 8147


I look into your face And wonder what you want with me ‘cause everyone wants something no one hangs around for free
Your eyes are so sincere And in your lovely smile I bask As I wonder all the while What’s behind your pretty mask?
What underneath do you conceal Devil, demon, angel, sprite Are you needy, angry, vicious, lost, Apathetic, filled with fright?
There’s so many ways to suffer now And life is so confused Its no wonder that the bulk of us are sure we’ve been abused
So why don’t you just spit it out And lay it on the line? Take off the guise that hides the truth Be honest just one time
But the world revolves on bullshit We all balance on the fence To risk a fall with honesty I guess just makes no sense.

This is all a lot of BULLSHIT>>>The Villa is in sy "Moer " Dawie kabouter says "Sharemax is in shambles "
He resigned ....he is not a bullshitter !


Sharemax malls may be saved

Johannesburg - Sharemax’s biggest property syndications have been saved from possible liquidation. But investors in The Villa and Zambezi Retail, two large shopping centres to the east of Pretoria, should prepare themselves for not receiving the promised income or all their capital back.Besides, these investors will have to wait up to 20 years for their money.This is after the High Court last week approved the proposed schemes of arrangement for The Villa and Zambezi, thus avoiding possible liquidation of the buildings – which would have had catastrophic consequences for the investors. The schemes of arrangement will be presented to investors and creditors for approval, after which they have to be finally ratified by the court. Dawie Roodt, one of the independent directors of the property companies in the Sharemax stable, said investors should prepare themselves for a loss of income and capital. In the case of Zambezi, investors’ money will be repaid over a period of 15 to 17 years. During this time they will earn no income and full repayment of their capital cannot be guaranteed. Repayment of their money will be based on the net rental income earned from the building, and will end as soon as investors have received back 130% of the original amount they invested. The total repayment to investors would therefore be at most R983m, representing 130% of the original R688m invested.In terms of the scheme, for the first 10 years investors will receive 70% of the net income from Zambezi. By then, if the full amount has not been repaid, the scheme will continue for another two years. For the next five years investors will be paid 30% of the net income.Similar detailed information for The Villa is not yet available.In terms of the approved scheme of arrangement for The Villa, the building will be completed when the necessary finance can be obtained. At this stage it is unclear how much money is required for The Villa’s completion, but sums of R800m to R1.6bn have been mentioned.Roodt said the scheme of arrangement for The Villa has been drawn up in such a way that it can be modified should a better plan for the half-completed building be found. Repayments to investors will start as soon as The Villa is completed and an income earned. These repayments could then, as in the case of Zambezi Retail, also take place over an extended period.Roodt said the scheme of arrangement for so-called income plans for other Sharemax syndications had also been approved by the court.The buildings from which investors in the income plans receive money are healthy, and investors ought to get their capital back, said Roodt. The scheme of arrangement for the so-called growth plans for buildings yet to be developed still has to be approved by the court.
Fin24 Adri van Zyl
A Like Reply 4 months ago 6 Likes F .
L.Oldacre 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand Dit klink vir my na dieselfde rympie as wat met Genesis Property Holdings (net op baie kleiner skaal) gebeur het. 21 projekte gelikwideer na baie baie baie beloftes waarvan niks gekom het nie en baie baie baie mooi praatjies. Wanneer gaan die regering iets doen om gewetenlose direkteure vas te vat? Waar kan 'n aandeelhouer en/of belegger gaan kla, want geld vir 'n forensiese ondersoek is daar nie meer nie? En die ironie is, die direkteure stap weg van die gemors en gaan begin net weer 'n nuwe besigheid op dieselfde trant! Dit blyk dat al hierdie eiendomsindikasies net piramideskemas is met mooi baadjies aan.

Pierre Hough

I requested Advocate Michael Blackbeard, Deputy Registrar of Banks to inform me what is intended be done if 'investors' who want their money back instead of compromising their position in the belief they are "shareholders" and "debenture holders" in these illegal schemes. The primary function of the appointed managers after all was to ensure the monies collected in these illegal schemes are repaid to them by the managers. The primary and sole purpose of the appointed SARB managers was not to compromise people's interest in the envisaged compomise scheme, where it is intended through the mechanism of a compromise scheme in the Companies Act, 1973, to make right that which the law, the Banks Act, 1990 prohibited. That is not permissible. The law cannot be used to make right or compromise, that which the law forbids. He undertook this morning to revert to me after meeting with the two appointed managers Jaco Spies and Neels Alant today. He undertook to revert to me by Monday/Tuesday next week.

Here is my communication to adv Blackbeard on Thursday 21 July:

"I have received and perused today's communication of the
newly appointed directors “under directive of the SARB” to 'investors' of the
Sharemax Zambezi and The Villa public property syndication schemes. I have
clients who are adamant they want nothing to do with these arrangements and
want their trust funds returned, plus interest thereon. Could you clarify the
position to me? Do you intend that the appointed managers proceed with their
mandate to repay these persons? Please clarify otherwise the stage is set for a
seeking a declaratory order in the High Court. Whilst I do not believe that the
directors could issue today's communication to 'investors' on your behalf, I'd
like to know how you view these developments which the directors view as being
their "considered opinion ... that the actions taken pertaining to the
Villa Mall, as set out hereinbefore, are currently, and will, in future, be to
the best benefit and in the best interests of Investors in the Zambezi Mall
Project and Villa Mall Project."

I look forward to receiving your urgent reply."

Adv Blackbeard responded this morning 22 July as follows-

"Dear Pierre

I have received your e-mails -- and will discuss with the managers today -- will get an answer to you by Monday/Tuesday next week --

Regards - Michael"

I will keep Moneyweb readers posted so watch this space and post your comments. It's important to the debate.

My compliments to Julius Cobbett and the Moneyweb team for allowing this debate!


Willie and Andre should be in jail!!

Finacial Virgin

If Rudi badenhorst is the same person that belonged to an accounting firm called " Badenhorst and Killian" who was part of the "Jodimax " investment schemes in the late seventies early eighties then i am glad i am not an investorn of the above company which was declared and illegal deposit taking scheme by the Reservebank last year.
RIP the so called investors who thought they invested ,just to find out they own nothing and stil own nothing at this point in time.

Doubt it, Rudi Badenhorst became a CA in 1980

With Myburg on the scene - - - am i glad that i am not an investor?????

26 July 2011 On 21 July 2011 a statement was issued with information on the current status of the Companies and the Schemes of Arrangement relating to the Income Plans, Growth Plans, Zambezi Retail Park and The Villa projects. The boards recorded their satisfaction with the progress made in the process of protecting the interests of the Investors in the Companies by means of the intended Schemes of Arrangement, in order for the Directives of the South African Reserve Bank to be withdrawn and the Companies functioning normally thereafter. This remains the position of the boards. One of the directors, Mr Roodt, tendered his resignation as a director on Friday 22 July 2011, due to priorities that he seeks to attend to, and also as the Schemes of Arrangement process is almost complete. The boards accepted his resignation and thanked him for his serves as a director. The boards are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Jacobus M Maartens (Koos), as a director. Mr Maartens came highly recommended by the Investor/FA Forum. Mr Maartens has, as an Investor in The Villa, been actively involved in the liaison process between the boards and the Investors/Financial Advisors, and his integrity has been proven by the high value of his input in this regard. Me Haese has been appointed as spokesperson on behalf of the boards. W J Hartzenberg Chairman of the directors of the Companies

And the bullshit carries on.

Sharemax Gauteng

VERKLARING VAN DIE RADE VAN DIREKTEURE VAN DIE SHAREMAXGESINDIKEERDE MAATSKAPPYE (“MAATSKAPPYE”)26 Julie 2011Op 21 Julie 2011 is ‘n verklaring uitgereik met inligting aangaande die huidige stand vandie Maatskappye en die Reëlingskemas met betrekking tot die Inkomste Planne, GroeiPlanne, Zambezi Retail Park en The Villa projekte.Die rade het hulle tevredenheid uitgespreek met die vordering van die proses om diebelange van die Beleggers in die Maatskappye te beskerm deur middel van die beoogdeReëlingskemas, sodat die Direktiewe van die Suid Afrikaanse Reserwe Bank opgehefkan word en die Maatskappye daarna normaalweg kan funksioneer.Een van die direkteure, Mnr Roodt, het op Vrydag 22 Julie 2011 sy bedanking asdirekteur ingedien weens prioriteite wat hy aandag aan wil skenk en omdat dieReëlingskemasproses byna afgehandel is. Die rade het sy bedanking aanvaar en hombedank vir sy dienste as direkteur.Dit behaag die rade om die aanstelling van Mnr. Jacobus M Maartens (Koos), as ‘ndirekteur bekend te maak. Mnr. Maartens is hoog aanbeveel deur die Beleggers-/FAForum. Mnr. Maartens was, as ‘n belegger in The Villa, aktief betrokke by die skakelingtussen die rade en die Beleggers / Finansiële Adviseurs en sy integriteit is bewys deurdie waardevolle insette wat hy in dié verband gelewer het.Mev Haese is aangewys as kontakpersoon namens die rade.W J HartzenbergVoorsitter van die direksies van die Maatskappye


Pierre Hough

This is a reason why it is nigh impossible for someone to make comments on these type of matters. I do not make it my business to comment on matters in the media. I did so to help only. Now this! There is no truth in the slanderous and scurrilous defamatory remarks. I will request Julius Cobbett to inform the details of "Challenge" to me. I will deal with this faceless person who choose to pass comments under a pseudo instead of revealing who he/she is, in an appropriate manner. Gosh, I am shocked!

The real Virgin

Hey, I'm the real "Financial Virgin" around here. Someone who cannot even spell Financial has started using my internet identity. Whoever it is please find another life........

To be continued !!!!!



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