Eastern Cape – The Asset Forfeiture Unit of the NPA has been granted a preservation order against the R3-million property owned by Zandisile Qupe, the former advisor to the Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane by the Port Elizabeth High Court.
The preservation order was obtained as result of the evidence presented by the AFU alleging that Qupe bought the property with proceeds of fraud and money laundering in February 2015.
Qupe and 14 co-accused were arrested in November last year and are facing charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering in relation to R56.4-million siphoned from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Integrated Public Transport System. Their next court date is on 28 January next year.
Eastern Cape Regional Spokesperson for NPA Anelisa Ngcakani said the AFU’s regional head in the province, Dr Chris Ndzengu presented the evidence that during the time of the alleged crimes Qupe was working as the ANC Regional Secretary of the Nelson Mandela Bay. He was a Special Adviser to Premier Mabuyane at the time of his arrest.
Ngcakani said: “The inference is that Qupe allegedly bought the property with proceeds of unlawful activities such as corruption, fraud and money laundering.
It is alleged that between the period of 27 September 2013 to 31 January 2015 Qupe received fraudulent and corrupt payments totaling just over R3-million into his private bank account.”
She said the money was allegedly transferred from the business bank account of a businessman Fareed Fakir of a company called Heerkos Projects CC and both him and his entity are among Qupe’s co-accused on this matter.
Ngcakani said the state believes that the amount was gratification in exchange for the awarding of the projects.
“There was no operational nor business nor legal or legitimate relationship between Qupe and Fakir or for that matter the IPTS.
The money was meant to provide an efficient, safe, affordable, sustainable and accessible multimodal public transport system, which supports social and economic development, ensuring optimal mobility and improved quality of life for residents and users of the transport system in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Metro,” she said.
Ngcakani said the order means that the property will be sold and the amount will be transferred to the National Treasury.
The preservation order was successfully obtained through the collaborative efforts of AFU, Hawks and police forensic investigators.
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