Thursday, 19 October 2017


The couple that allegedly scammed dozens of people, including retired teachers, of over R45-million in a pyramid scheme were yesterday granted a combined R100000 bail in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

Thandeka Gwensa, 30, and husband Polycarp Nkuna, 31, were granted R50000 bail each.

Gwensa, a teller in one of SA's major banks in Durban, is accused of money laundering after allegedly benefiting from Nkuna's forex trading scheme because some of the money was transferred into her account.

In their affidavit read out in court by their lawyer Advocate Norman Makhubela, the couple said they intended pleading not guilty to fraud charges.

The two told the court that the state had an extremely wea k case against them and that they would be vindicated.

Nkuna, is a consultant for skills development and training at his own company, allegedly started a Ponzi scheme in 2011 in which he targeted retired teachers to invest their pensions.

It also emerged that another couple, Tshepo Mekgoe, 35, and wife Fikile Patience, 35, who had invested R15-million into the scheme were later involved in the recruitment of clients.

They were arrested early this month. Makhubela, however, said they did not get paid. 
Mekgoe and Patience are out on R5000 bail each.

Mitigating for his clients' bail application, Makhubela said Nkuna did not benefit entirely from the R45-million as other investors did get paid.

"The problem started in 2015 when the South African Reserve Bank launched a probe and seized everything, hence the scheme was disrupted and wasn't able to pay other investors," he said.

The court also heard that Nkuna and Gwensa are married and stay in Durban with their two children.

Prosecutor Annamarie Morton said Nkuna was not "an honest person and is a flight risk".

Morton said Nkuna falsely claimed he only owned a BMW 3 series but it has been established that he owns more than one car and also that he didn't want to hand himself over to the police.

The case was postponed to next month for further investigation. sowetan


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