See More

Farms seized in fraud case

Mar 11 2011 14:25 Sapa

Related Articles

Former Land Bank CEO in court

Hawks arrest 'high-flyers' over fraud

IDC grants R750m for farmer relief

Longer deadline for land bill

KZN settles 13-year land claim

Land Bank to probe more irregularities

Johannesburg - Two farms - including livestock and farming equipment worth R15m - were seized on Friday in relation to a land affairs fraud case, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

This was after the department of rural development and land reform was allegedly misled into awarding a grant of about R9.7m  to Abrina 6658 to assist in the purchase of an Arcadia farm in Ladysmith, NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

The department believes it may have acted on a fraudulent memorandum.

The farms were purchased and transferred into Abrina 6658, a public company owned and controlled by the Sewpersadh family in Ladysmith.

The seizure followed an investigation initiated by the department after its minister Gugile Nkwinti insisted on a large-scale probe into allegations of the irregularities.

The probe led to the arrest of Roshen Sewpersadh and three officials of the department identified as Promise Makhanya, Sibusiso Chapi and Patrick Masoka.

They have been charged and are currently out on bail.

Mhaga said the investigations centred on the fraudulent acquisition of the properties earmarked for redistribution and restitution to the farming communities who lived and worked in these farms.

"Investigations reveal, among others, that several farms were fraudulently transferred to certain entities and individuals who did not qualify as beneficiaries in terms of the said programmes.

"Fraudulent activities induced the department into approving a grant. Among the said individuals were certain officials from the department whose responsibility was to ensure that the said farms were transferred to legitimate beneficiaries," Mhaga said.

Sewpersadh and the three government officials will appear in the Ladysmith Regional Court on May 3.

Mhaga said the farms seized brought to a total of R50m the assets seized in the last six months since the establishment of the public service's Anti-Corruption Task Team.

farming  |  land  |  fraud



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The total fuel levy of 80.5c a litre announced in the budget:

Previous results · Suggest a vote