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AFU seizes vehicle allegedly bought by funds stolen from Kwandwe Game Reserve

By Afikile Lugunya - Feb 12, 2019
AFU seizes vehicle allegedly bought by funds stolen from Kwandwe Game Reserve

The National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit says it seized a Toyota Hilux bought with money allegedly stolen from the Kwandwe Game Reserve after receiving a court order.

According to NPA Eastern Cape spokesperson, Tsepo, Ndwalaza, on the 29th of January, the Grahamstown High Court Acting Justice Renqe granted the Asset Forfeiture Unit, in the National Prosecution Authority (AFU) a Preservation Order in terms of provisions of section 38(2) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, 121 of 1998 (POCA) preserving a white Toyota Hilux 3.0 4x2 Double CAB with registration number PTYGUZN Hibiscus Coast Management Services (PTY) Ltd (Hibiscus) purchased on 30 May 2016 from Alfred County CC for R240 000 transferred and registered on 3 June 2016 on its name and later transferred and registered in the name of Mrs Olga Du Plessis (Mrs Du Plessis) of Port Shepstone on 12 June 2017.

Ndwalaza said that the preservation application relates to an alleged Game Reserve cash payments totalling R1 376 716.96, into Mr Marius Du Plessis’ Company 24/7 (PTY) Ltd, which Mr Du Plessis allegedly misappropriated for his personal benefit and interest.

"The Game Reserve paid the funds in order for Mr Du Plessis to transfer it to the Workmen Compensation Fund in relation to the Game Reserve’s employees.

"This, however never occurred, except for R1 000. Mr. Du Plessis, instead allegedly channelled part of the funds i.e. R240 000 to his company, Hibiscus, which acquired the Hilux and later registered it to Mrs. Du Plessis’ name."

Du Plessis faces two counts of fraud

On Monday, Mr Du Plessis and Company 24/7 appeared in court facing two counts of fraud and two of theft.

The case was postponed while Mr Du Plessis and company seek legal representation.

"The Hilux was seized from Mr Du Plessis as he appeared. He will have an opportunity to oppose the granting of the forfeiture order against the Hilux, failing which its proceeds would be paid to the Game Reserve for restorative justice," Ndwalaza said.

"It is through the hard work of the law enforcement agencies (i.e. the SCCU, the banks and the dealership that made it possible for the Order to be obtained.

"As the AFU (in the NPA), we are very impressed with the coordinated effort in which this matter have been handled and it will show that crime does not pay."

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