Asset Forfeiture Unit to attach Durban tycoon's R19m assets as part of tender fraud case

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A Porsche 911.
A Porsche 911.
Vincent Thian/AP
  • The Asset Forfeiture Unit has been granted a final forfeiture order to attach assets belonging to Durban businessman and chartered accountant Poovandaren Chetty.
  • A preservation order was granted to the AFU in September 2018 by the High Court.
  • While on bail, one of Chetty's co-accused, Stanley Khanyile, was shot dead in early October in Alberton in Gauteng.

The National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit has been granted a final forfeiture order by the Eastern Cape High Court to attach assets belonging to Durban businessman Poovandaren Chetty.

The assets were purchased using tender money allegedly acquired fraudulently from the Eastern Cape department of social development in 2015.

The final forfeiture order, granted by the Eastern Cape High Court in Makhanda on Tuesday, ordered that R19 million worth of assets that were proceeds of an alleged tender fraud be attached. 

Chetty, former head of department of social development in the Eastern Cape, Stanley Khanyile, former chief director in Khanyile's office, advocate Vuyokazi Sangoni, were arrested by the Hawks' Anti-Corruption Unit for fraud, theft and money laundering worth more than R29 million.

A preservation order was granted to the AFU in September 2018 by the High Court. NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said on Tuesday the court permanently forfeited to the state the following property:

• R12 177 771.26 credit balance contained in account, number 746 974 062 36 in the name of Umnotho Training and Development Trust;

• A Porsche 911 with registration number NJ439;

• R101 000 equity in the Land Rover Discovery with registration number ND 285;

• 52 Gold Kruger Rand Coins;

• Erf No 51 Wedgewood Old Cape Road, Port Elizabeth;

• Renovations for R1 045 649.60 value in property at 40 Swapo Road, Durban North, KwaZulu Natal;

• R2 000 000 and its interest and/or capital increase and dividends transferred from Umnotho Training and Development account, number FNB account 62547679285 and invested Allan Gray Investment account, number 62083093311 held at FNB, ledger account number AGLP565468; and

• R500 000 and its interest and/or capital increase and dividends transferred from Umnotho Training and Development account, number FNB account 62547679285 and invested in Bitcoin invested at Luno Bitcoin company, FNB account number 62412967484.

Khanyile, Sangoni and Chetty were granted bail of R50 000, R20 000 and R200 000 by the King William's Town Magistrate's Court on 14 August, respectively.

While on bail, Khanyile was shot dead in early October in Alberton in Gauteng. He was facing two counts of fraud and two counts of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

Sangoni was charged with one count of fraud and Chetty faced 16 counts of fraud, 18 counts of theft, and 15 counts of money laundering.

The criminal case was postponed to 20 November 2020 for the State to produce a new indictment and the matter to be referred to the East London High Court for trial.

ALSO READ | 'Brutal and inhumane' - mayor on murder of Sedibeng municipal manager Stanley Khanyile

Sangoni revealed to News24 in court that she was the sister of presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko and a niece to retired Eastern Cape judge president Themba Sangoni.

State prosecutor advocate Antoinette De Jager had told the magistrate's court that once the case was transferred to the High Court, the State would charge that the R29 million was siphoned from a R42 million budget earmarked for the construction of a building during the 2015-2016 financial year. 

Providing background of the alleged fraud, Ngwema said in 2015 the Eastern Cape social development department was to establish a provincial women's development resource centre in Lusikisiki.  

The centre was intended to serve as a hub for socio-economic empowerment for women with a focus on skills development programmes. It was also intended to be a provincial hub for marketing the products produced by women co-operatives or groups funded by the department.

The department identified an existing government infrastructure in Lusikisiki as a suitable place to house the development resource centre.

Khanyile was alleged to have flouted procurement processes to the benefit of Chetty for a R14.5 million contract for the establishment of the development resource centre, said Ngwema.

Ngwema said Khanyile was alleged to have bypassed procurement processes and in July 2015 he signed a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Chetty.

The agreement was purported to have commenced in April 2015 and was to last for nine months until December 2015. 

"It is alleged that before the contract was signed, Chetty did not present any business plan on behalf of Umnotho to the ECDSD, which was a requirement for funding in terms of the department's policy for financially awarding service providers," said Ngwema.

Ngwema added that between July and August 2015, the department paid just over R14 million to Umnotho, a private company owned by Chetty, and he was the only designated signatory to its bank account.   

For the 2016/2017 financial year, a tender was advertised by the department for the training and capacitation of co-operatives.

"Khanyile and Sangoni are accused of colluding to ensure that Umnotho won the tender through unfair advantage in the procurement process. They allegedly flouted the prescribed procurement policy and did not follow normal departmental practices. Umnotho was duly awarded the tender," Ngwema said.

In May 2016, Khanyile and Chetty allegedly signed a second SLA. This agreement was deemed to have commenced in May 2016 and was to last until the end of March 2017. The ECDSD further paid just over R15 million to Umnotho, Ngwema said.  

According to Ngwema, Chetty allegedly misused approximately R14 million from the Umnotho account for his personal benefit. It's alleged that during August and September 2015 he bought a Rolex watch, a diamond ring, a Porsche, a Ferrari and gold coins valued at just over R1 million.


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