Forfeiture unit seizes R23m in assets from staff of KZN premier's office

The Asset Forfeiture Unit has seized assets belonging to the CFO of the premier's office, his co-accused and their entities, including a boutique hotel and 40 motor vehicles.
The Asset Forfeiture Unit has seized assets belonging to the CFO of the premier's office, his co-accused and their entities, including a boutique hotel and 40 motor vehicles.
Image: 123RF/3DRENDERINGS

The Asset Forfeiture Unit has frozen R23m worth of assets belonging to staff members in the office of the KwaZulu-Natal premier.

The unit restrained several immovable properties and vehicles belonging to the CFO in the premier's office, Ziphathie Mboneni Cibane, his co-accused, and their entities.

“The move follows an order granted by the [Pietermaritzburg] high court against the accused people in the criminal matter that is before the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court,” said the National Prosecuting Authority on Tuesday.

According to the NPA, in July 2020, Cibane and three other premier's office staff members, Nomusa Zakwe, Thobelani Makhathini, and Sithembiso Msomi, appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court along with Gugu Kheswa of Phumalanga Communications. They were charged with tender fraud and corruption.

In October 2020, they were joined by more accused: Pamela Hlongwa, Ashley Rose, Ntombimpela Mabel Majozi, and Sybil Mataung, along with their entities and businesses, Roren Engineering, Nto’s Catering CC, I Dot Q, Set Apart Group, Isidleke Enterprises Pty Ltd and Inala Business Consortium.

“The state’s case is that the [premier's office] staff, who worked in the supply chain management section, colluded and unlawfully co-operated with these service providers to manipulate the tender process. The properties restrained today have a cumulative estimate value of R23.3m.

“These include 20 immovable assets including a boutique hotel and 40 motor vehicles. The items will be held under curatorship pending the outcome of the criminal trial. The accused are out on various amounts of bail and they return to court on April 30 2021,” said the statement.

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