AFU scores R53m forfeiture order for stolen government land

The high court in Pretoria has granted a final forfeiture order to the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) worth R53-million.

The forfeiture order was granted after land belonging to the government had been transferred to private entities and individuals.

The order was granted on April 18 to forfeit R12-million, which represented the property described as 34 Beverley Agricultural Holdings in Gauteng.

The property measures a staggering 20 325 hectares, as well as Portion 296 (a portion of portion 259) of the Farm Zuurfontein 33, which is worth R41-million.

Lumka Mahanjana, the spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), explained that the forfeiture order follows an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Department defrauded

The probe revealed that private entities and individuals, jointly and severally, and with a common purpose, defrauded the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and the respective Deeds Registries in Vryburg, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

“This was done by fraudulently transferring government property to individuals and private entities for their benefit from January 2008 to February 2022,” said Mahanjana.

The SIU claimed that it was a proclamation that President Cyril Ramaphosa had authorised to look into claims of corruption and bad administration involving the transfer of public land to individuals and private organisations.

In March, the AFU in the Northern Cape highlighted the successes achieved in terms of equipment seized and arrests made during illicit mining raids, as well as the way forward.

The equipment seized during raids, valued at R1-million, is to be auctioned in Kimberley.

Net cast wide for syndicates’ bosses

The NPA stated that it wanted to find and bring charges against the heads of the syndicates that are supporting illegal miners, and it added that it would seize their properties.

The police pointed out that illicit mining is a national priority and that the harbouring and enabling of undocumented foreigners will not be tolerated.

The NPA supported the notion and assured that all the perpetrators found guilty of harbouring criminals would be prosecuted.

Visit SW YouTube Channel for our video content

Latest News