6 February 2013

South Africa: AFU Seizes Assets in Mpisane Investigation

press release

On 5 February 2013, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court granted the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) a freezing order in relation to the property of KwaZulu-Natal business woman Ms Shauwn Mpisane.

The order authorises the AFU to freeze and seize as much as R140 million in property from Ms Mpisane. Since she is married in community of property to her husband, it includes all property owned by the couple.

This is one of the largest cases ever done by the AFU, and is a significant blow in the fight against corruption. In the application the AFU relied on the investigation by the Hawks and it would like to commend the investigating team for the excellent work that was done.

The freezing order was granted in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (the POCA) and relates to a number of criminal charges that Ms Mpisane will face.

The order was served this morning on the court appointed curator has commenced with the process of identifying and seizing assets belonging to the couple.

The NPA would like to emphasise that it will continue to take strong action against those who are guilty of corruption and in effect steal resources meant for the poorest of the poor in our country.

Anti-Corruption Task Team

The case is part of the ongoing work of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) set up by Cabinet in July 2010 to deal more effectively with large corruption cases.

It consists of the Hawks, the NPA (prosecutors and asset forfeiture) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

It brings the total amount frozen by the ACTT in high profile corruption cases to over R900 million in the past 4 years.

Assets identified

The assets identified include:

One Phanton Rolls Royce

One Ghost Rolls Royce

One Maserati

One Ferrari Scaglietti

One Porsche Cayenne Turbo

One Porsche Panamera Turbo

Two armoured BMW 5 series (bullet proof)

Two Hummers

These luxury vehicles are valued at approximately R22 million. There were various other construction vehicles valued at approximately R4.5 million.

Four fixed properties are valued at approximately R25 million, which includes their home valued at about R20 million. Other assets are still being identified and are in the process of being seized and valued.

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