Assets worth R32m seized from woman who ‘defrauded’ City of Cape Town

2014-08-25 15:27

The National Prosecuting Authority has seized assets worth about R31.8 million belonging to a Taiwanese woman who allegedly defrauded the City of Cape Town.

“The assets restrained involve about 14 immovable properties, four motor vehicles and money in 16 bank accounts of the defendant and her family relatives who benefited from the tenders, as set out in the application papers,” NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube said.

He said the NPA’s Western Cape asset forfeiture unit obtained a restraint order on August 19, authorising it to seize the assets belonging to the woman, now a South African citizen, and entities owned by her five relatives.

Mncube said the matter involved three contracts valued at approximately R67.8 million the woman procured from the city through her business.

She allegedly defrauded the municipality by not disclosing that her business partner in the company awarded the tenders worked for the social development department. The tenders precluded applications in which state employees were involved.

“The state official involved in the business entity that tendered with the city was a coloured female employee of the department of social development,” Mncube said.

She was allegedly recruited to earn higher points in the tender bidding process, due to the provisions of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act.

Mncube said a whistle-blower brought the matter to the city’s attention.

Forensic investigations by the city revealed the woman was not honest in her application papers for the tenders, when asked whether her company involved a state official.

Mncube said it was clear in the application forms that business entities employing state officials were precluded from tendering for contracts.

Mncube said a curator bonis had been appointed to take charge of the assets pending finalisation of the matter.

The woman and her company face fraud charges. The matter would be heard in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court when the asset forfeiture unit filed its application on September 26.

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