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Cajee brothers to appear virtually at Africrypt inquiry

By Stephen Timm
Johannesburg, 17 Sept 2021

Africrypt directors Ameer and Raees Cajee, who shut their crypto investment platform in April over an alleged hack, leaving investors millions of rands out of pocket, are to appear next month before an inquiry ordered by the company’s court-appointed liquidators.

The brothers went into hiding earlier this year after announcing the hack, saying they feared for their lives after receiving several death threats.

The liquidators’ legal representative, Ruann Kruger, told ITWeb yesterday that the Cajee brothers have agreed to testify on 19 and 20 October through a virtual session.

They were initially subpoenaed to appear before the inquiry last week, but this was postponed after their attorneys asked for an extension in order to consult further with their clients and stating at the time that their safety was still in question.

While a responding affidavit to oppose final liquidation of Africrypt, which was signed by Raees Cajee, contains the stamp of the South African embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, dated 19 July, no one knows – or will say – where the two brothers currently are.

Kruger said the first part of the inquiry, held last Thursday and Friday in Pretoria, heard testimony from Daniel Opperman, Africrypt’s former compliance officer.

Opperman, who was testifying over a virtual platform, told how a few days after the hack took place and two days before the two brothers announced in a statement that the company had been hacked, he met with the Cajees, but the brothers made no mention to him that the alleged hack had taken place.

“[Opperman] said he was very surprised to read about [the hack] in the media,” said Kruger. He added that Opperman will return to testify further at next month’s hearing. Contacted by ITWeb, to confirm the details of his testimony, Opperman declined to comment.

Kruger said the inquiry also heard testimony from Wayne Naidoo and Steve Miller, a director and manager, respectively, of public relations (PR) company Duke Advertising, which signed a 14-month contract worth R3 million with Africrypt.

The contract was to run until the end of December 2021; however, just three months into the contract, the PR company was paid the full amount. Kruger said the fact that the PR company was paid in full before the completion of the contract raised a red flag.

Raees Cajee contends in Africrypt’s affidavit opposing final liquidation that the application was taken out against the wrong company and that clients signed investment contracts not with Africrypt but with an entity called Rae Create Wealth.

However, Kruger said bank statements obtained by Tayfin Forensic Investigative Auditors, the forensic investigators appointed by the liquidators, revealed that all transactions made to Africrypt were moved to Raee Create Wealth. He said this and other evidence is expected to appear in the forensic report on Africrypt.

Contacted yesterday, Africrypt’s attorney Rashaad Moosa of Shaheed Dollie Incorporated Attorneys declined to comment, saying the inquiry is a private inquiry and that as such, he couldn’t comment without getting the permission of the commissioner. However, he said he would be questioning witnesses further in next month’s session.

Earlier this month, a group of investors’ bid to get the court to place Africrypt in final liquidation was postponed to 15 November.

It follows a provisional liquidation order brought by the group, under the name Badaspex, which was granted in April by the Gauteng South High Court against Africrypt.