SA property conman uses Sexwale name to swindle Londoners

The name of Tokyo Sexwale, South African real estate tycoon and minister of Human Settlements, has been used by a confidence trickster to scam Londoners out of about £570 (R8,000) each. The London investors believed that they were making a deposit towards the ownership of a buy-to-let property in Cape Town.

The fraudster, Hennie van Buuren, claimed to represent Sexwale through CAD Projects – ostensibly a Cape property development concern – and was able to show impressive documentation backing this claim, according to victims.

One victim, Chuma Ndwandwe (33), told The New Age that he had not only invested himself, but had introduced five others to Van Buuren, all of whom had invested.

Jeremy Steenkamp, director of CAD Projects – a reputable Cape Town firm – refused to comment at the time of going to press, but has been quoted as saying that Van Buuren’s fraudulent activities were unknown to him, that he had had no involvement in the proceeds thereof, and that Van Buuren had resigned several months earlier after working for CAD Projects for less than a year. Steenkamp invited all those who had been taken in using CAD Projects documentation to contact him.

Victims of the fraudster have little hope of locating Van Buuren, who is currently untraceable, despite being a hitherto well-known property agent dealing with South Africans in the UK.

Sexwale’s name – essentially a blue-chip reference in South African business circles – has proven irresistible to fraudsters before. In November last year, Onasis Maxam, known as the Post Office scammer, invoked the minister’s name in court, where he was facing fraud charges to the tune of R2 million. Maxam claimed to be a good friend and employee of Sexwale’s, as well as a prominent member of the Ekurhuleni ANC branch – all of which was flatly denied by the property tycoon. Maxam received a 23-year sentence for fraud in December.

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