Johannesburg - South Africa's "youngest self-made millionaire" has been accused of plagiarising his training company's course material and falsely claiming to have made R30m in profit, while his business partner is a convicted criminal in the UK.
Several industry players have contacted News24 raising suspicion over Sandile Shezi's operations.
News24 contacted Shezi last week and detailed the allegations. It also spoke to the co-founder of his Global Forex Institute (GFI) company, George Van der Riet at the weekend.
Van der Riet said they would respond to the allegations on Monday.
Shezi sent News24 his and Van der Riet's comments on Monday afternoon.
Here follows an edited version of the response:
1) There is a claim you use a foreign exchange (forex) account with at least R30m profit in it during your seminars and we have seen alleged proof on the amount. However the claim is this account does not belong to you. Is that correct?’
A: Whenever we show accounts in seminars, the account holder’s name is shown with the account on screen and credit given verbally to the account owner. I have never claimed to have a R30m account and have never tried to claim someone else’s account was my own.
2) Another is training material you use is "plagiarised" from a website called Babypips. We have seen your training material and of Babypips and where they are allegedly the same. Is this claim correct?’
A: Since this is a very serious allegation and the modules were compiled for us before the company was established, I took it personally upon myself to compare the notes. I could not find any “plagiarised” sentences. I couldn’t find any correlation between the format and chapter headings at all. I did however notice some of the pictures looked very similar. However, this is a null point as we have spent the past year compiling a 300-page comprehensive training manual, which includes advanced chapters like the Elliot Wave theory. We have already started using our new training manual. The author of the training manual is Kobus Kemp. If you would like a copy of our current training manual or have any further queries regarding this, he can be contacted on 083xxxxxxx and would be more than happy to assist you.
3) The last claim is your partner George van der Riet was convicted for manslaughter and drug dealing in London. Is this correct and has he been released?I am aware over five years ago, George van der Riet was involved in an altercation where a man sustained a head injury and died in hospital three days later. George spent two years as a guest of her Majesty. He spent the two years studying and helping people become literate.
Since his return to South Africa, he has done a lot of charity work and helped mentor me and some of my advanced students for free.
He has gone out of his way to make up for the mistake and he completed his punishment in England. He has dedicated his life since his return doing charitable deeds and goodwill to try and make up for that one mistake which he has already been punished for as seen fit by her Majesty the Queen of England.
He is actively involved in numerous charities and empowering young people in South Africa by passing on his knowledge and expertise.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for him teaching me trading strategies. I know you have the right to publish his story, but reposting a five-year-old closed case, when he is not even really involved with GFI anymore, would be just invading his right to privacy and potentially damaging the GFI brand unnecessarily.
I understand you have the right not to disclose your sources, but since your sources were making false accusations, I was hoping you could assist us by disclosing that information so I can begin legal proceedings against them.
I believe some of my competitors are behind this, as I have had numerous attempts of sabotage against my company. These incidents include, but are not limited to, attempts to attempts to hack our website, attempting to have our Facebook page banned by reporting it falsely and even going as far as sending groups of people to cause intentional disturbances at our events.