NPA explains why it gave Sodi access to use his seized house

Noxolo Sibiya Journalist
Edwin Sodi.
Edwin Sodi.
Image: Mlungisi Louw

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says tenderpreneur Edwin Sodi is allowed to use his Bryanston, Johannesburg, house even though the property is part of assets that were frozen by the Assets Forfeiture Unit (AFU) pending a money laundering and corruption case.

This comes after Sodi hosted his fancy birthday party at his R85m Bryanston home on Sunday, which saw guests including ANC provincial secretary TK Nciza, human settlements and infrastructure development MEC Lebogang Maile and Kaizer Chiefs boss Bobby Motaung and others dining under the stars.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the house, along with other properties owned by the businessman, were still under a restraint under an order that seized assets worth R300m and would only be forfeited to the state should Sodi be convicted.

The wife was occupying the house, in agreement with curators. We have put caveats on properties on condition that they can occupy the houses and insure them but not sell them. All immovable properties are paid up. We have a R300m restraint order in place pending the finalisation of the criminal case. In essence, all restrained properties can only be forfeited to the state after conviction.

Sodi and former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule are facing charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering after his company was awarded a R255m asbestos tender in the Free State. The project was meant to remove harmful asbestos from residential homes, but this project was left incomplete.

The ANC benefactor hosted the opulent event which saw a saxophonist performing and a display of fireworks.

Sodi has had a string of lucrative government contracts for years across the country, which were terminated for poor performance, despite pocketing millions of rand..

The City of Tshwane said on Monday it will meet with its lawyers this week as it forges ahead with the blacklisting of his companies in relation to the failed R292m Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant tender, which was awarded to Sodis two companies, NJR Projects and Blackhead Consulting, as well as their business partner CMS Engineering in 2019. They did only 60% of the work.

The Special Investigating Unit also said President Cyril Ramaphosa had authorised it to probe allegations of maladministration and corruption in the affairs of the city relating to the tender.

In another failed project in Gauteng, Sodis company Blackhead Consulting was in 2018 appointed as a consultant and overall manager for the project at Barcelona primary in Etwatwa, on the East Rand.

According to a 2020 response in the provincial legislature, the contract given to Sodi in July 2018 was R10.8m. Sodi was paid R1.8m by 2020.

Sodi’s other company, NJR Projects, failed to pay contractors and employees, some of whom were earning as little as R220 a day, leaving them in distress and debt, in the R282m tender to extend a prison in Parys, Free State.

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