The man behind the scandal is South African venture capitalist and self-help author Julian Pencilliah, whose publicity stunts include paying thousands of dollars for the Kardashians to promote a Rio Carnival sweepstake on Twitter, driving his Lamborghini into the sea and launching a $200-million (about R2.1-billion) technology fund in California, Times Live reported.

Unauthorised debits potentially running into millions of rands a month continue to be withdrawn from bank accounts , with many consumers not even aware of the multiple R85 (US$8,50) deductions.

His firm sold a product called Educorp, debiting consumers under the name LLC Collect or LEA Collect for an educational product that offers pupils online and call-centre assistance for maths and English.

The company closed its call centre and stopped selling the product in 2012, but subscriptions sold will continue to 2017.

Read the full Times report.