Late ANC MP's estate must pay back R1.1m for illegal renovations to home
Former ANC MP Yolanda Botha’s estate will have to pay R1.1m back to the state after the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The NPA had appealed a decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal that her estate should pay only R750,000 of the total R1.1m spent on renovations to Botha's Kimberley house by the property company Trifecta.
The order relates to her involvement in a property-leasing scandal in the Northern Cape when Botha was employed as a head of department.
Botha died of skin cancer in 2014 while serving as an ANC MP. She had been found guilty by parliament’s ethics committee for the same matter.
In a statement on Tuesday, NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke hailed the Constitutional Court decision.
“The National Directorate of Public Prosecutions strongly believes the judgment is an excellent extrapolation against corruption, as well as settling the legal point that proportionality does not apply to proceeds of unlawful activities,” said Makeke.
The judgment means Botha's estate has to pay back the full amount in six months or see her house auctioned to pay the bill.
“Ms Botha was head of department from January 2001 until April 2009. She had embarked on an unprecedented scale of corruption by awarding tenders to Trifecta for the lease of government premises.
“Trifecta would acquire well-constructed but rundown buildings within the Northern Cape province, then renovate them to lease to government at exorbitant rates, resulting in the state incurring a loss in excess of R26bn,” said Makeke.
She said Trifecta made renovations to Botha’s house in 2009. She had bought the home in 2004.
“When Ms Botha was charged by the state, along with others, for offences of tender corruption and other offences, the [Asset Forfeiture Unit] applied for preservation and forfeiture orders against the renovations and shares, which was granted by the Northern Cape high court.
“However, the high court erred at forfeiture stage when it forfeited the entire house. This occurred while Ms Botha was technically not guilty as she passed away before the criminal case was concluded,” said Makeke.