Crooks pay back R3bn

09 July 2015 - 02:26 By Babalo Ndenze


Criminals have paid back more than R2-billion to the state in the last financial year as the Assets Forfeiture Unit recorded its most successful year yet. The crime-fighting unit recover R2.8-billion during the 2014-2015 financial year. Its biggest haul involved freezing contracts worth R1.8-billion issued by the Gauteng health department.The unit also froze orders worth R4.2-million against a company that was awarded a tender to transport mourners to Nelson Mandela commemoration events in the Eastern Cape. The tender process was rigged.A number of Buffalo City Municipality officials, including former mayor Zukiswa Ncitha, were implicated in the case.The unit also recovered a farm worth R1.5-million in the Free State that had been illicitly obtained by an SA Police Service detective.The unit froze and recovered R59-million in various bank accounts of people who defrauded the Social Housing Regulatory Authority in East London . The unit also recovered some of the authority's R4.8-million that had disappeared for "personal purposes".It was assisted by the National Treasury to recover more thanR61-million that was swindled from the authority's coffers.A list of the unit's major recoveries appears in the National Prosecuting Authority's latest annual report, which has been tabled in parliament.According to legislation, the seized money goes into the central revenue fund."The unit achieved its best-ever performance, obtaining freezing orders to the value of R2.8-billion, significantly exceeding the annual target of R755-million by 265% and last year's performance by 293%," the report read.The unit's head, Willie Hofmeyr, said this success can be attributed to working closely with other crime-fighting institutions such as the Hawks, the police and the Special Investigating Unit."We've had a few good years in the past but this was probably our best," he said."It's true that working together has made a difference

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