Cape Town – Parow "Ponzi pastor" Colin Davids made a quick, low-key appearance in the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
With a neatly clipped salt-and-pepper beard and an understated suit, Davids did not speak as he stood in the dock. The case was postponed for further investigation.
Davids was arrested last June and released on bail of R100 000 after both he and his company, Platinum Forex, were charged with fraud for allegedly contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act and the Banks Act.
Davids led the New Direction Grace Ministries in Parow and was a director of Platinum Forex.
He allegedly promised higher-than-usual returns for investments from government employees or people who had just retired. The enticing returns ranged from 48% to 84%.
The Western Cape High Court granted an order in July 2015, freezing the company's assets pending the finalisation of the criminal case.
In court on Wednesday, prosecutor Jannie Knipe said the investigation was progressing well, but it was a complex case and completing the investigation would require time.
At least 50 affidavits were expected to be obtained, and the investigating officer was away on a training course until the end of February.
Knipe's request for a postponement was granted until September 27. Davids left the court flanked by two men, stopping for a few friendly handshakes from people who approached him.
Hawks ask victims to come forward
Outside the court, Davids declined comment. At the time that his assets were frozen, he told News24 that he was innocent.
The National Prosecuting Authority said previously that the scheme allegedly collected money under the guise of being a lawful foreign exchange investor during August 2013.
Investors were allegedly not paid from investment returns, but rather with money from new investors.
Schemes such as these collapse when there are no more new investors.
The Asset Forfeiture Unit had alleged that, instead of investing the money entrusted with the company, some of it was used for Davids' own benefit.
The Hawks have asked people who may have been victims of Platinum Forex to contact the investigating officer, Lieutenant Colonel J Hardenberg, on 021 918 3354 or email him: HardenbergJ@saps.gov.za.