State to return assets of R70m to Mpisanes

2014-02-18 10:55

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Durban’s blingest couple, Shauwn and S’bu Mpisane, will have more than R70 million in assets returned to them by the state within a month at most.

Yesterday, Judge Kate Pillay of the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the restraint of property order granted against the couple last year be rescinded following an application they had brought to court in the wake of Shauwn’s acquittal on tax fraud charges on January 31.

The state had earlier withdrawn charges of fraud and forgery against her in a separate case in the Durban Commercial Crime Court.

It had, however, gone to court to oppose the application for the return of the assets, arguing that the fraud case would be re-opened.

Yesterday’s order gives the NDPP and curator Trevor White seven days to give a full account for the restrained assets, which include ten commercial or residential properties and plots of land, and any interest which has been earned on the cash component of around R28 million since January 31 2013.

According to the order, each of the parties will pay their own legal costs.

However, the curator’s fees and all the expenses incurred in the restraint of the properties – including around R5 million storage for Mpisane’s luxury vehicles towed away from their premises in a high profile operation by the Asset Forfeiture Unit and later returned in exchange for cash – will be borne by the state.

“The costs and fees of curator bonis and all expenditure incurred in connection with the restrained assets (whether by the applicant (NDPP) or the curator bonis) shall not be paid by the respondents (the Mpisanes) nor recovered from the restrained assets or any interest or benefit earned from the restrained assets,” the order read.

Mpisane said he had brought the application as the state had failed to return the assets after his wife’s acquittal.

“There was no longer any charge so it was unfair that the assets be restrained,” he said. “We are now waiting for the order to be executed.”

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