Farm seized by court

2012-12-07 17:48
(File, Shutterstock)

(File, Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)

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Johannesburg - A farm in Limpopo, which is part of an investigation into On-point Engineers, has been seized after the high court in Pretoria granted a freezing order.

"The order [was granted on Wednesday and] was served this morning [Friday]," National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Makhosini Nkosi said in a statement.

It was served on Gwama Properties, which is registered as the owner of the Schuilkraal farm, and its sole director Lesiba Gwangwa.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit made the court application for the seizure of property based on an investigation by the Hawks and two independent reports into On-Point's activities.

The reports were compiled by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Unlawful activities

The court accepted the unit's submission that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the property was acquired with the proceeds of unlawful activities perpetrated against the department of roads and transport in Limpopo.

Gwangwa is also a director of On-point Engineers and faces charges related to tender fraud and corruption in the Polokwane Regional Court.

He previously appeared in court with axed ANC Youth League Julius Malema, who faces a charge of money-laundering and racketeering.

Several others, and four companies - On-Point, Gwama Properties, Segwalo Engineering and Oceanside Trading - were charged along with them. Gwangwa was released on R40 000 bail.

Court papers revealed that Malema allegedly benefited from corrupt activities amounting to R4m and had "clear business ties" with Gwangwa.

The State charged that Gwangwa and three others misrepresented themselves to the Limpopo transport department, and a R52m tender was awarded to On-Point.

Securing the tender

Another R1m gratification was paid for the securing of the tender.

Bid documents submitted by On-Point Engineers to the department contained several misrepresentations. Names given as executive and senior people at On-Point were for people not employed there. On-Point entered into secret agreements with service providers and in return received sums of money for these, the papers said.

Malema allegedly benefited from the tender by using it to fund a farm worth R3.9m and to make a payment of R382 655 for a Mercedez Viano.

"...Most of the payments... were channelled through other entities... to pay for the farm," the charge sheet said.

It said R1m was a part payment for a portion of the Schuilkraal farm by the Ratanang Trust.

Malema's Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect shareholder in On-Point and Gwama Properties, said court papers. In October, Madonsela found that tenders awarded to On-Point were unlawful, and that the department did not follow proper guidelines in awarding them.

- SAPA
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