National Prosecutor’s Office (NGO) The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) restricted the assets of the former South African Police Service (Saps) officials accused of fraud and corruption in the infamous R191-million “blue lights” criminal case.
The case, which involves former senior Saps officials Kgamotso Pahlan and Delive De Lange, relates to Saps’ corruptly awarded contract to a service provider – Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement – to supply and install blue lights and sirens for Gauteng Police vehicles in 2017.
A measure of restraint
On Friday, the appointed bailiff, along with the sheriff of the court, members of the Hawks and members of the AFU went to the defendants’ residences in Sandton, Pretoria, Boksburg, Springs and Sasolburg to enforce the temporary restraining order following an application from the court. AFU.
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The order was issued on 18 August 2022 by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg and identified assets with a fair value of R75 million.
NPA investigation officer Sindisiwe Seboka said the assets include at least 19 properties linked to the accused, as well as about 115 vehicles, including three trucks.
Seboka said investigations are still ongoing to trace other assets belonging to the accused.
“The sole director of Traffic Law Enforcement (Pty) Ltd is Wimpy Phineas Tlalefang Mantata. Mantata and his organization are charged along with several high-ranking officials who worked for SAPS at the time.
“These include Johannes Kgamotso Phalan, who was acting national commissioner at the time, Ramahlapi Johannes Mokwena, Nambhuruza Lethi Napo, James Ramanjalum, Delive Susan De Lange, Ravichandran Swamivel Pillai, Joseph Maetapese Mulaiwa and Bonang Christina Mgwenya,” she said in statement.
The case of “blue lights” for 191 million rand
The State alleges that the defendants worked in concert to ensure that traffic enforcement was awarded the blue lights contract and paid approximately 65 million rand.
Seboka said the sum had risen to current estimates of 121 million rand.
“Saps officials were mostly rewarded with cash payments that in some cases appear to cover their monthly expenses, leaving their salaries largely intact.
“The evidence shows that in some cases the reward was in the form of the purchase of luxury cars and expensive clothes and accessories paid for by Manthata.”
The investigation also revealed that the Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement and some Saps officials were in constant communication during the procurement and payment process.
These reports were related to the withdrawal of substantial amounts of cash by Manthata and cash received by Saps officials.
“Following the conviction, the AFU will consider an application to open a confiscation investigation aimed at ultimately recovering the stolen funds under the provisions of Chapter 5 of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act 121 of 1998,” Seboka said.
The defendants in the R191 million corruption case are expected to return to court on November 2, 2022.
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