Popular DJ wooing Peter to pay Paul

2010-09-19 14:25

Investors who pumped thousands of rands ­into an investment scheme run by high-flying Ukhozi FM DJ S’bu Buthelezi are out of pocket and baying for the gospel guru’s blood after the project went belly up.

Now the Imbumba Empowerment Group cannot pay the 125 investors who backed his project.

Investors who have pushed Buthelezi Those who want to be paid out have been told in writing that they will be paid at the end of the year.

But now that the company has collapsed, chances of the investors getting their money back are slim.

The punters say Buthelezi held several ­meetings with them at the SABC’s premises in Durban.

They say the dynamic host of the Sunday shows Indumiso-Songs of Worship and Unkulunkulu noMunt’ omusha, deliberately fleeced them.

Buthelezi said he had apologised to the investors and would pay them out if he secured funds from new investors he was trying to bring on board to bail him out.

Michael Zungu, who invested R10 500 in the scheme in 2007, has accused Buthelezi of ­being “a wolf in sheep’s clothing masquerading as a Christian”.

“I want all my money or else I will deal with him,” said Zungu.

Zungu said he and other investors who paid money into the Nedbank account owned by Buthelezi had given him their deposit slips ­because they trusted him.

“We trusted him as a man of God,” he said.

“He made us sign a document that he will pay up on December 31 but still we have no copy which proves his promise,” said Zungu.

Investors say Buthelezi, host of the Sunday shows Indumiso – Songs of Worship and Unkulunkulu noMunt’ omusha, and his business partner, known to City Press, approached them to invest in ­Imbumba in 2005 and 2006.

The duo told investors that Imbumba would be ­investing in a bank, a sand mining company, a transport company, property ­development, a driving school and a supermarket in Nkandla.

Cecil Shangase pumped R14 500 into the scheme four years ago.

He said Buthelezi ­recently convinced him and other shareholders to sign an agreement stating that they would be paid at the end of December.

They are now in the dark, however, about when – if ever – they will be paid out.

“If he doesn’t pay in December then I don’t know what will happen to him,” said Shangase.

Sazi Cele invested R20 000 in 2006, but has no receipt, saying that Buthelezi asked him to give him the deposit slip for his “records”.

“We shouldn’t have trusted him with our money. We had to demand documents as to prove our involvement in the company,” said Cele.

Buthelezi has confirmed that 125 people ­invested in the now defunct Imbumba.

“It wasn’t a scam, but we failed because we had no full background of how to operate this kind of business. There were too many expenses because when we started the business there was no area of focus,” said Buthelezi.

He was not willing to explain why he had ­collected deposit slips from investors and not returned them.

“We wanted 500 people to join in, but we ­managed to get only 125,” said Buthelezi.

He told City Press he spent more than R100 000 on renovations and stock for the Nkandla supermarket, which he claimed to be paying R12 800 a month to rent over a three year lease.

However, when asked to provide proof of payments, he was unable to do so.Imbumba director Jennifer Ann Lupton ­confirmed that the company had collapsed.

“The company is not functioning at the ­moment because it couldn’t make sufficient funds. Unfortunately it couldn’t work out,” said Lupton.

When asked why the company collapsed, she said: “It’s a long story and I don’t want to go into details.

Please speak to S’bu (Buthelezi).”When City Press called Imbumba’s number at Umhlanga, the receptionist said the company was no longer in existence and was now known as S’bu’s Foundation.

Ukhozi FM station manager Bonga Mpanza said Buthelezi was a freelancer and he was thus ­permitted to have other business interests.

The station would conduct an ­investigation into the matter, however, as it was concerned about its effect on Ukhozi FM’s image.

“His contract allows him to have his own company. As for the allegations against him, we will conduct our own investigation and get the whole background of the story,” he said.

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