NPA's Asset Forfeiture Unit recovered loot of R115.9m in two months - Lamola

2019-09-06 20:01
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola. (Jan Gerber/News24)

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola. (Jan Gerber/News24)

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The National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) recovered R115.9m in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act during June and July this year.

This was revealed in a response by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola to a question from DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach.

Lamola said the AFU was currently working on 319 cases, with an estimated value of R28.9bn.

"The actual amount recovered will depend on the value of the assets that can be traced, confiscated or forfeited," reads Lamola's answer. Of these cases, 35% relate to fraud and corruption, and 15% to drug-related matters.

In answer to another question, this one by DA MP James Selfe, Lamola explained why the Special Investigating Unit's special tribunal to fast-track the recovery of misappropriated state funds was not yet up and running.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the establishment of the unit in March and, since then, his department had busied itself with creating the administrative structures for the unit, Lamola said.

He said the drafting of regulations for the unit became a more protracted and tedious process than initially anticipated. The department had the sought assistance of Senior Counsel to ensure that the regulations and rules of procedure were "watertight and in order to avoid legal technicalities and loopholes that exposed previous Special Tribunals to litigation".

"Our previous experience has shown that persons who have stolen and syphoned public funds through corruption and maladministration would not hesitate against the tribunal in order to frustrate its processes and efforts to recover their ill-gotten gains," Lamola said.

Therefore, Lamola said, they had to put extra effort and energy into the drafting of the regulations.

He said the tribunal would become operational as soon as the regulations were published in the Government Gazette.  

Read more on:    npa  |  ronald lamola  |  corruption
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