South Africa’s national broadcaster has suspended one of its employees that is accused of convincing unsuspecting people, including pensioners, to invest in a cryptocurrency scam. More than 100 people are believed to have fallen victim to promises of very high returns to investors in the bitcoin investment scheme.
300% Return on Investment
The South African state broadcaster recently suspended one of its radio presenters, Sebasa Mogale, after a media exposé suggested he may have been part of a cryptocurrency scam outfit that reportedly promised a 300% return on investment.
The decision to suspend the popular broadcaster, who also plays a role in South Africa’s popular television series Skeem Saam, was made after an investigative report by the media outlet Carte Blanche identified him as one of the masterminds behind the scam that allegedly fleeced more than 100 people.
Reports of Mogale’s suspension were confirmed by Gugu Ntuli, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) group executive responsible for corporate affairs and marketing. In a statement, the executive said:
Thobela FM has taken a decision to unschedule Sebasa Mogale, (Ntshirogele) Afternoon Drive presenter, following the Carte Blanche exposé. Mr Mogale is being afforded an opportunity to resolve the issues raised in the recent broadcast which pertain to his personal business dealings involving cryptocurrency.
Ntuli added that the SABC will “leave no stone unturned” in its own probe into Mogale’s role in the scam.
A Confidence Trickster
According to an exposé by Carte Blanche, Mogale had used his celebrity status to lure some listeners of his radio show to invest. The media outlet’s report said investors with no training in personal finance management had “cashed in their pensions and savings policies.” However, in the end, Mogale’s promises turned out to be empty.
“But for at least 140 people the man they trusted to guide them through the crypto maze appears to have been little more than a confidence trickster,” reads part of Carte Blanche’s summary of the exposé.
Following news of Mogale’s suspension, some of the victims of the scam have come forward to reveal their losses. Sello Bonoko is quoted in another report explaining he became a victim after he listened to Mogale’s bitcoin investment pitch that “sounded convincing.” He also said he trusted Mogale’s promises primarily because these were made on national radio. Bonoko said he lost more than $14,500 (R230,000).
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the South African police is quoted in the report telling Mogale’s victims to file reports with law enforcement. He said the police can only act after formally receiving the complaints.
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