- The assets of Hamilton Ndlovu will remain preserved while he appeals against the ruling to repay millions in personal protective equipment tenders.
- A probe by the Special Investigating Unit found that the businessman allegedly pocketed almost 90% of R172 million worth of PPE tenders.
- The SIU and the National Health Laboratory Services asked the tribunal to confirm the assets remain frozen.
The Special Tribunal has confirmed that the assets of businessman Hamilton Ndlovu and others will remain preserved pending the outcome of an appeal to the High Court to overturn the final forfeiture order of preserved assets.
A probe by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) found that Ndlovu allegedly pocketed almost 90% of R172 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders awarded by the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) in 2020.
The investigation established that the 19 contracts were obtained by abusing the emergency procurement procedures to respond to the Covid-19 disaster.
The SIU brought the matter to the tribunal to recoup state funds.
The Special Tribunal, which has a statutory mandate to recover public funds syphoned from the fiscus through corruption, fraud and illicit money flows, ruled that Ndlovu must repay R158 850 921, including interest.
Judge Lebogang Modiba ruled on 7 June 2022 that all assets owned by Ndlovu and his companies should be auctioned off or sold to recoup the money owed to the NHLS.
The tribunal further ordered that the preserved properties and funds held by Ndlovu, Zaisan Kaihatsu and Bugatti Security Services and Projects to the value of R42 million be forfeited to the state.
Businessman Hamilton Ndlovu’s assets remain frozen whilst he appeals a ruling by the Special Tribunal.
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Ndlovu is appealing to the High Court to overturn the forfeiture order.
The SIU with the NHLS applied to the Special Tribunal last month to confirm that the preservation order remains operative despite Ndlovu’s appeal.
A response on 31 January was that the order still stands, and the assets remained preserved.
According to the SIU, Modiba, the president of the Special Tribunal, ruled that Ndlovu and others did not dispute the serious allegations of procurement fraud, and therefore had no legal basis for resisting the preservation order.
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“The purpose of the preservation order was to preserve specific assets and protect them against damage or loss of value pending their final forfeiture. The Special Tribunal found that it was not in the interest of justice to allow Ndlovu and others to retain possession of the preserved assets,” Modiba ruled.
The SIU was authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption, malpractice, maladministration and irregularities in the procurement of goods and services during the Covid-19 state of disaster.
The SIU analysed the bank statements of the front companies and of Ndlovu and of other companies and individuals linked to him.
“The analysis showed that, apart from an amount of about R15 million that appears to have been used for the purchase of PPE, the funds… were not used to obtain supplies of PPE… Instead, almost 90% of the funds flowed to Ndlovu for his own use.”
The SIU welcomed the Special Tribunal order.