Ex-treasurer’s assets frozen
Five properties, four luxury cars seized by Asset Forfeiture Unit
THE Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) put a damper on the holidays for axed Cope treasurer Hilda Ndude, freezing her assets – five properties, four luxury vehicles and her interest in 17 entities, which include Transnet, the V&A Waterfront, and I&J.
The five properties are in Plattekloof, Parow, Gugulethu and Kensington in Joburg, while the vehicles include a Mercedes Benz Sprinter, Audi Q7, Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee and Audi A6.
The entities include Bloemfontein Correctional Contracts, Bosasa Operations, Marib Holdings, Milpark Foundation and Ten Alliance Investments.
Now Ndude, the woman who was captured in the centre of the famous photograph of Nelson Mandela’s 1990 release from Victor Verster Prison, is at risk of losing it all if she is convicted of the fraud and money-laundering charges against her.
Ndude is a former ANC MPL and deputy minister who during the apartheid era was a prominent United Democratic Front activist in the Western Cape, and later served on the ANC’s Western Cape executive.
She and her co-accused – personal assistant Irene Motha, and Sithaba Holdings, an entity she partly owns – are to appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court again in February in connection with the criminal charges.
They stand accused of defraud- ing Cope of more than R2 million.
However, while Ndude and her co-accused prepare to defend themselves against the criminal charges, they were served with restraint orders this week, granted by the Western Cape High Court, that notified them their assets had been attached.
In an affidavit attached to the AFU’s application, deputy director of public prosecutions Gcobani Bam said the Hawks investigation into the alleged fraud showed that the bulk of the money – about R1.5m – was transferred from Cope’s bank account to Ndude’s personal bank account between April 2010 and August 2011, under the pretext that they were being paid to service providers.
Hawks investigator Heinrich Cooper also identified two transactions in September and October 2010, in which more than R112 000 was transferred to Chebile Zulu, who is to be added as an accused but has not yet been traced, prosecutor Bam said.
Zulu was Ndude’s personal assistant at an entity called Dyambu Holdings.
He added that the investigation also established that more than R326 000 was transferred from Cope to the Standard Bank account of Sithaba Holdings between May 2010 and September 2011.
In addition, it is alleged that Motha received R47 000, and that Ndude arranged payments to the value of R237 500 to individuals, he said.
The money laundering charge is based on the allegation that the funds Ndude received were transferred to other entities to conceal their origin and location.
“I respectfully submit that, on the strength of the evidence contained in Cooper’s affidavit herewith, the defendants received a benefit from their unlawful activities in the amount for which they have been charged, alternatively, they are to be charged,” Bam said.
He submitted that it was in the interests of justice that a curator be appointed to take control of the attached assets, pending the determination of the criminal trial, and an ensuing confiscation application.
According to Bam, investigators found that Ndude possessed only realisable property.
However, he said that in the event that the curator did not find any realisable property in her coaccused’s possession, the benefit accrued should be recoverable from Ndude’s assets.
APOLOGY: Adeebah Salie, right, and her mother Hilda Hartick leave the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court, where Morne Manuel appeared on a charge of murdering their sister and daughter Janine Manuel.
LAUNDERING CHARGES: Hilda Ndude