In a blow to the Lifestyle Direct Group and its operator, Damian Malander, the high court has ruled that a class action will go ahead following allegations that a fraudulent online scheme tricked loan-seeking members of the public.

For the man accused of being the mastermind behind one of South Africa’s biggest scams, it was a terrible week. First, Nedbank was granted two default judgments against him, in both his personal capacity and against his company Damal Trading; then, the Western Cape High Court declined his application for leave to appeal in the ongoing saga around the Lifestyle Direct Group.

This means, not only does he owe Nedbank more than R1.1-million for defaulting on car and bond repayments, but the class action, which was certified earlier this year, will go ahead.

And if the class action is successful, tens of thousands of consumers will be entitled to their refunds too.

It’s a blow for Damian Malander, who former associates allege pocketed more than a million rand a day “on good days”.

Malander was at the helm of a web of companies purporting to be “loan providers”, controlled by the Lifestyle Direct Group which had headquarters in Century City, Cape Town….

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