Ex-trea­surer’s as­sets frozen

Five prop­er­ties, four lux­ury cars seized by As­set For­fei­ture Unit

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - FA­TIMA SCHROEDER

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.

PIC­TURE: LEON LESTRADE

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.

PIC­TURE: MATTHEW JOR­DAAN

LAUN­DER­ING CHARGES: Hilda Ndude

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