FINWEEK (English) Page 27
Entrepreneur crying foul WHILE THE National Empowerment Fund (NEF) boasts of an impressive track record in helping small black entrepreneurs make their mark in business, Sibusiso Mzizi has gone public crying foul on how badly he was treated by an organisation that was supposed to help him venture into a white-dominated ICT industry. He claims to have lost everything following a bungled deal with the NEF in 2006 when he bought a computer components distribution company called World Computer Systems (WCS). The Johannesburg-based entrepreneur — who says his debts amount to a staggering R12m, including a foreclosure on his house — is now threatening to sue the NEF to the tune of R60m, while the agency says it's pursuing him on fraud charges. In brief, Mzizi claims the NEF promised to finance the business to the tune of R5m. In addition, the NEF would pay WCS's suppliers R2m for new stock.