Court orders state to play fair with Mpisane’s assets worth R70 mln

2014-02-19 00:00

DURBAN socialite Shauwn Mpisane will get over R70 million in assets and cash returned to her from the State.

This brings to closure three years of legal proceedings that saw Mpisane hauled before three different courts, where she had faced over 150 fraud charges. All charges against her were withdrawn in January on a directive from the head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Mxolisi Nxasana.

Mpisane, who made her fortune from securing multi-million rand low-cost housing tenders from the state, asked the Pietermaritzburg high court to order the NPA’s Asset Fortifuture Unit (AFU) to return her confiscated assets within the next seven days.

The order was granted on Monday by Justice K. Pillay, who said the Restraint of Property Order granted by Justice Sharmaine Balton in October 2013 was rescinded as a result of the order by Justice A.J. Chilli on January 31, which withdrew all charges against Mpisane. “[The] appointed curator … is directed to release and return to [Mpisane] within seven days all property under his control and custody, and all documents obtained,” said Pillay.

She also said the state “will not diminish the value of their estate to a value less than R70 million”. Mpisane is owed R70,4 million, which includes at least nine properties in areas such as La Mercy, Zinkwazi Beach, Umhlanga Rocks and La Lucia.

Earlier this month Mpisane said she thought the state was not playing fair by trying to hold onto her assets with a worth R70,4 million, despite having withdrawn all criminal charges against her.

The Durban Regional Court on January 31 withdrew over 100 fraud charges against Mpisane. The charges related to the alleged inflating of invoices in an attempt to cut her tax bill by R4,7 million and violating the Close Corporations Act when she remained the sole member of Zikhulise ­Cleaning, Maintenance and ­Transport CC while having a previous fraud conviction. This case was withdrawn by Nxasana citing “prosecutorial interference” by lead prosecutor Meera Naidu. Naidu is expected to be investigated.

A few hours later a charge of interfering with a witness was withdrawn against Mpisane in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court — this was related to the Durban Regional Court matter. On January 17 the state withdrew 53 charges of fraud and forgery at the Durban Commercial Crime Court against Mpisane. She was charged with forging documents to secure a CIDB grading in order to secure tenders valued R140 million from provincial government departments.

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