AFU attach embattled Edwin Sodi’s bling cars

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit has seized bling cars of politically connected businessman, Edwin Sodi.

The unit today descended on the Bryanston office of Sodi’s Blackhead Consulting and seized luxury sports cars including a Ferrari FF, a Bentley Continental GT and a Porsche Cayenne.

Last week, the High Court in Bloemfontein granted the AFU an asset freezing order worth R300 million.

The seized property includes houses, luxurious cars, bank and family trust accounts, household goods, shareholding.

Sodi was released on R500 000 bail. His six co-accused were all granted R100 000 bail each.

They include Nthimotse Mokhesi, head of department, Free State human settlements; Mahlomola John Matlakala, director supply chain management at the human settlement department; Sello Joseph Radebe, a businessman from Fourways, Johannesburg and Abel Kgotso Manyeki, a businessman from Clubview, Pretoria.

Completing the list is Thabane Zulu, the former director-general of national department of human settlements and Olly Mlamleli, the former MEC of human settlements in Free State and a former mayor of Mangaung.

The state alleges that fraud to the value of R255 million was committed in the appointment of Blackhead Consultants in 2014 as service provider to the department of human settlements in the Free State for the “assessment and removal of asbestos roofs and/or housing”.

The seven appeared along five companies Blackhead Consulting, Diamond Hill Trading 71 (Pty) Ltd, 605 Consulting Solutions (Pty) Ltd, Mastertrade 232 (Pty) Ltd, and Ori Group (Pty) Ltd.

They face charges including fraud, theft, attempted theft, corruption in contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004, money laundering in contravention of section 4 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (POCA) as well as the  contravention of various Asbestos Regulations, promulgated in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993.

Meanhile, the Hawks have seized a luxurious vehicle of a Limpopo official accused of receiving a “bribe” from businesspeople who scored multimillion-rand tenders at the embattled Mogalakwena municipality.

The elite crime-fighting unit this morning went to the house of the official – who they did not name – and took the Mercedes-Benz worth R1,4 million as part of an ongoing corruption probe.

In 2018, the Hawks received information that businesspeople allegedly deposited money into a dealership’s account for the official to buy a vehicle of his choice as a “gratification”.

“It is alleged between 2017 and 2019, different companies were awarded tenders worth over R50 million by the municipality.  Investigations has so far revealed that most of the tenders were flawed and riddled with corruption,” a statement of the police reads.

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