Durban tycoon to challenge warrant

2011-07-11 23:08
Durban - Controversial Durban tycoon, Shawn Mpisane, will challenge the procedure followed to have a search and seizure warrant issued for her house to be raided, the Durban Magistrate's Court heard on Monday.

"I have been instructed by my client to challenge the search and seizure procedure,” said Mpisane's attorney, Themba Mjoli.

Mpisane handed herself over to the police in June after the SA Revenue Services and Hawks raided her posh Durban home.

The search and seizure warrant was granted by a Durban magistrate.

Mjoli said he had written a letter requesting an affidavit to see how the warrant was granted. He did not want to divulge why his client wanted to challenge how the warrant was granted.

Shawn Mpisane and her husband, Sbu Mpisane, came under scrutiny when it emerged they were spotted driving expensive cars.

Sbu was still a police officer when the story broke.

It was widely reported that the couple was super-rich with a fleet of luxury cars including a Rolls Royce Phantom and Lamborghinis.

They also owned a R15m mansion.

The case is against Shawn Mpisane and her company, Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport. She is out on R50 000 bail.

The issue of her passport, which was taken from her during her bail application, dominated the court proceedings on Monday.

Mjoli said Mpisane had missed a very important business meeting because she was unable to get her passport from the investigator based in Pretoria.

According to her bail conditions, her passport was to be kept with one of the investigators and she would have to request it if she needed it.

“My client has already suffered because of this arrangement. She had a business trip that she did not take,” said Mjoli. It was eventually agreed that it be kept with the state prosecutor.

Mpisane, who was accompanied by her husband and scores of her employees, will appear again in court on September 29.

The case was postponed to allow the investigator to complete the investigation and for more people to be arrested in connection with the case.

Plan B

Earlier on Monday, several Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport employees turned up to back their boss.

Thandinkosi Sosibo, an Umlazi resident organised buses to transport members of the community to court because he believed his boss was innocent.

"When I look at the situation I realise that Shawn is being accused of a crime she did not commit. We do not know her as a criminal," he said.

He described Mpisane as a good person who helped in the community by supporting schools and families that were struggling financially.

"We believe she is being targeted because she is black," Sosibo said. He reiterated that they knew where Mpisane came from and what she had done to achieve her success.

"If the charges against Mpisane are not dropped we will have to find plan B to resolve this but we will not use violence."

In 2009 it was reported that the couple had received R219m from the eThekwini municipality to build low-income houses on 4 500 sites in Umlazi.

However, the National Home Builders' Registration Council found defects in more than 1 000 of 3  000 houses built by Zikhulise Cleaning and Transport, owned by the Mpisanes. Of the defects, 30% were serious and would require major renovations.

The Mpisanes are known for their lavish parties, which are attended by politicians and celebrities.

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