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Report 69 Business Practices Committee

5. The meeting with the Committee on 15 December 1998



A transcript of the meeting of the Committee on 15 December 1998 was taken down by an independent firm.


Venter made a number of statements during the meeting, such as:

a) "...we should take away medical aid. We are not registered as a medical institution".
b) ".... we are considering ourselves the first company ever in the history of South African economy that is promoting an aspect where the people of South Africa for richer of poorer are assisting one another".
c) "I don't want my project to be even compared to a chain letter. We have a professional business. It's a professional club with a professional constitution".
d) "The Club has certain benefits. The immediate benefit is like we record here on the back of this certificate. It says here other benefits. Your ICSA free magazine free finance tax and legal advise and education cover. That is other benefits. Those are long term benefits but the immediate benefit is the one at the bottom of the first page. Product or service. ICSA will promote your product or products and or service or services on your behalf and you pay us R101.03 to do that. Please supply this information on the application form. On the application there's product or service. If you're a mechanic we say put down there you're a mechanic. If you're a engineer put down your an engineer.


If you're a painter put down you're a painter. What happens we have all this information on a professional data base. If you call the Innercircle of South Africa and you want your car to be serviced then the Innercircle and you call from Pretoria for example.


Now there's about 40 or 50 members in Pretoria who may be mechanics. Then we will give you a list of three or four names who are mechanics in Pretoria and we will say you can contact that person he is a mechanic and he is willing to provide you the same service that you will receive from the local garage. But because his a member of the Innercircle you will. He will provide the services at discounted rates because he did not advertise to get you. Through our advertising programme you will be able to make use of these services. And that is enough for R101,03. There is no organisation in the world that can give you that benefit for R101.03. But now we say there's a breakdown on that R101 in fact that benefit is for nothing. It's free.


Now never before has something like this been developed in South Africa. Regardless what anyone tells me about previous projects".


Venter mentioned a discounted rate of 50 per cent but acknowledged that, for example a plumber who is an ICSA member is not obliged to give this discount. The plumber will, however, give this discount because "... you must understand he is a member. He makes R1 million in a year's time. So he doesn't really have to work as a plumber anymore. Because his a millionaire. So what his doing is for members of the Innercircle and if I get my way then the whole South Africa will become members of the Innercircle, those with open minds".


e) "So let me tell this Committee I have great respect for this committee. For the function that they are there to perform. Bottom line full stop. But this committee is now telling me that as a South African I cannot do this. I cannot do this. This is what we are doing. This is a gift towards prosperity. That's yours take it. That is what we are doing. So if this committee is going to stop me I promise you now every one present here today that I will run for government in the next election and I will see to it that this thing will revolutionise the South African economy. Right. But you can stop me. But I know what I will achieve you will remember this day. What's the date today?" (Committee's own underlining).
f) "Give me one year. The whole South Africa will be members of the Innercircle and you know it".


It was put to Venter that his scheme was a money distribution scheme; that the scheme involved the taking of money from some people and redistributing it to others and that no new money was being created in the system. He was taking the same money and recirculating it. He replied:


"What we are doing is we are in a process of distributing the funds available in South Africa evenly among the people of South Africa. Alright now my dream is to get these people who are now equal to get them financially equal and the only way we going to do that is to help one another there is not much money on the streets. So I'm gone bring money back onto the streets".


When asked what product or service he marketed, he replied:


"We are marketing those services and products that we are presenting for our people. But we are marketing it on that one benefit. You pay R101,03 for life. You never ever pay a payment after that anymore. Right you pay R101,03 of which R50 is your membership fee. And R43,74 is the actual Fin Aid moneys. Now everyone pays that. And when the whole South Africa are members of the Innercircle there is no saturation level because how much money do you receive before you have received enough financial aid". The R43.74 refers to the six names on the list, except ICSA itself, times R7.29.


In reply to the question of a member of the Committee whether "To equal themselves financially (people) can earn R1 million. Would everyone earn R1 million?" Venter said "Yes everyone can.... Everyone who participate will earn R1 million within one year yes".


Venter could not understand, or did not want to understand, that for one member of ICSA to become a "millionaire", he/she had to receive contributions from at least 137 175 (1 million divided by 7.29) other members. He left the meeting saying: "Thanks gentlemen it was a pleasure being here and ladies. But you'll hear a lot about me".


The Committee resolved that Venter be informed that notice of a section 8(1)(a) investigation would be given in the Government Gazette during the latter half of December 1998. It was further resolved that Venter be informed that he would be afforded another opportunity to address the Committee on why the Minister should not suspend his business in terms of section 8(5)(a)(i) of the Act. These resolutions were conveyed to Venter by fax at 15h58 on 15 December 1998.