/ 19 March 2013

Malema’s farm seized after money laundering charges

"On [Monday], the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the NPA was granted a forfeiture order for a farm that is alleged to belong to Mr Julius Malema as part of a money laundering scheme," spokesperson Medupe Simasiku said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The farm is estimated to be worth about R4-million. This emanates from a freezing order on the same farm that was granted on December 5 2012 by the North Gauteng [Pretoria] High Court." Earlier on Tuesday, the Times newspaper reported Malema missed the deadline to challenge the South African Revenue Service's application for the sequestration of his estate to cover a R16-million tax bill.

The former ANC Youth League leader filed a notice of intention to oppose the application in the North Gauteng High Court on February 18.

He had until last Monday to file his answering affidavit. Simasiku said the farm was known as the remaining extent of the farm Schuilkraal 623, and was registered in the name of Gwama Properties (Pty) Ltd.

"The sole director of Gwama is Mr Lesiba Cuthbert Gwangwa," he said. "It is noteworthy that the AFU application was neither opposed by Mr Gwangwa or his company Gwama Properties, nor by Mr Malema, who is alleged to be the real owner."

Fraud and money laundering
The court found the property was acquired with the proceeds from fraud, corruption, theft and money laundering. 

The alleged crimes were perpetrated against the Limpopo department of roads and transport, Simasiku said.

Alternatively, the property had been used to launder money.

The property would be sold and the proceeds deposited into the Criminal Assets Recovery account, used by law enforcement agencies to fight crime.

In January, sheriffs seized Malema's Sandton and Polokwane homes. The South African Revenue Service then rejected a R4-million settlement offer and auctioned Malema's assets in the Sandton and Polokwane homes in February.

Malema also faces charges of fraud and racketeering related to the irregular awarding of a R52-million tender to On-Point Engineering in Limpopo. Gwangwa is the chief executive of On-Point. – Sapa