Relief for fraud accused

2009-09-09 00:00

HIGH Court Judge Isaac Madondo yesterday confirmed an agreement reached between Indiza Infrastructure Solutions head Jabulani Mabaso and the Asset Forfeiture Unit to “restrain” his property and cash amounts pending his fraud trial, but on conditions that will enable Mabaso to run his businesses and his daily life.

Mabaso faces charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering to the tune of around R227 million.

In June, the national director of Public Prosecutions approached the high court for an order to restrain Mabaso from dealing in any way with his assets, including several luxury properties, vehicles and cash.

The property under restraint was placed under the control of a court­appointed curator.

Mabaso had given notice of his intention to oppose the application, which paves the way for the seizure of his assets by the Asset Forfeiture Unit if he is convicted of the crimes with which he is charged.

In terms of yesterday’s court order — which was the result of talks between the parties — the court has granted a restraint order over five properties; cash totalling almost R135 million; Mabaso’s business interests in African Spirit; an 80% interest in Fairways Golf Lodge; 100% interest in Indiza Infrastructure Solutions; 100% interest in Sakhimpilo Development Fund, and his 1 937 661 shares in Conduit Capital.

There is also a restraint granted over his vehicles — an Alfa Romeo, Audi Q7, Volvo and Audi A6 Quattro.

In terms of the court order, the affected assets cannot be sold or transferred or mortgaged, and will vest in the Master of the High Court or a trustee or liquidator should the owner become insolvent.

Trevor White has been appointed to continue acting as curator in control of the assets.

Certain assets, including Mabaso’s home, and specified sums in accounts largely relating to his business activities, were released from restraint to accommodate his daily living and allow him to operate his businesses.

Mabaso and Pamela Bosman-Zulu, the former chief financial officer of the KwaZulu-Natal Treasury and of the Education Department, are due to appear in the high court in November in connection with the fraud, corruption and money laundering allegations. Mabaso is on bail of R1 million and Bosman-Zulu on R30 000 bail.

The state alleges that Indiza Infrastructure Solutions, which was appointed by the Education Department in 2007 to manage the procurement and distribution to schools of textbooks and stationery, committed fraud by “overcharging” the department to the tune of at least R197 million. It is alleged that Indiza submitted invoices with inflated prices, as well as fictitious purchase orders and supplier’s invoices for goods that were never supplied.

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