South Africa

AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY

Hamilton Ndlovu’s opulent empire implodes as he’s ordered to pay back the millions

Hamilton Ndlovu’s opulent empire implodes as he’s ordered to pay back the millions
Thabiso Hamilton Ndlovu. (Photo: Twitter/@kulanicool)

The businessman has been ordered to repay R157-million fraudulently acquired through personal protective equipment contracts. In addition, the contracts worth R172-million have been declared unlawful, invalid and set aside.

This is part of the judgment delivered by Judge Lebogang Modiba during a Special Tribunal hearing on Tuesday 7 June, 2022. The judgment brings an end to a three-month hearing.

In May 2020 Daily Maverick reported that Hamilton Ndlovu boasted about buying five luxury vehicles worth an estimated R11-million, after which SARS provisionally froze his personal and company bank accounts and seized three of his Porsches. Among the known assets listed were a Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio, a Porsche Cayenne S Coupe and a Porsche Panamera GTS Sport, all of which have ownership dates in June 2020.

The latest SIU tribunal matter stems from an application the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) has applied to review and set aside procurement transactions for the supply of PPE between the NHLS and eight companies owned by Ndlovu and his associates. 

Thabiso Hamilton Ndlovu. (Photo: Twitter)

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) had been investigating corruption allegations that involved eight companies linked to Ndlovu. In 2020, the eight companies owned by Ndlovu and his associates received PPE contracts worth a total of R172-million from the NHLS. 

At the time of the conclusion of the contracts, the NHLS adopted emergency procurement procedures in response to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The SIU contended that the procurement transactions for the supply of PPE between the NHLS and Bugatti Security, Hamilton Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Mok Plus One (Pty) Ltd, Abompetha (Pty) Ltd, Feliham (Pty) Ltd, Joritans Logistics (Pty) Ltd, Persto (Pty) Ltd and Kgodumo Mokone Trading Enterprise (Pty) and payment made to them in terms of the impugned transactions were irregular and unlawful and therefore, unconstitutional.

In her judgment Modiba said: “Thabiso Hamilton, Bugatti Security Services and Projects (Pty) Ltd, HamiltonN Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Hamilton Projects CC and Feliham (Pty) Ltd is declared liable to the NHLS to repay and directed to pay the sum of R172,742,175 less R13,891,253.87 =R158,850,921.13 including interest.”

In terms of the judgment the following assets were declared forfeited to the State:

  • The properties and funds held by Thabiso Hamilton Ndlovu, Ziasan Kaihatsu (Pty) Ltd and Bugatti Security Services and Projects (Pty) Ltd.
  • The vehicles held by Akanni Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd.
  • The assets and funds held by the Thabiso Hamilton Ndlovu and HamiltonN Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Hamilton Projects CC, Mok Plus One (Pty) Ltd, Abompetha (Pty) Ltd and Feliham (Pty) Ltd.

The Special Tribunal further ordered that immediate steps be taken to realise the forfeiture assets and pay the proceeds to the NHLS. The tribunal also issued the following order authorising the SIU to take all the necessary steps to effect the order and transfer the forfeited assets to Zaheer Cassim, who was appointed as the curator bank, or a bank account of the NHLS.

On the SIU investigation and averment that the impugned transaction stem from egregious abuse of the NHLS emergency procurement procedures, Modiba said: “I find that the emergency procurement procedures adopted by the NHLD to procure PPE to combat the Covid-19 emergency were fraudulently exploited by Ndlovu and the fronting companies.”

The Tribunal also found that Ndlovu had not seriously disputed the allegations of turpitude against him and the companies he represented. Ndlovu was the director of HamiltonN Holdings, and his wife was the director of Feliham.

“He (Ndlovu) used the fronting companies to procure PPE supplies to the NHLS. Although he barely denies making false representations to any NHLS officials regarding his involvement in the fronting companies, on his version and on the version of the fronting companies, they were dormant. He actively marketed them.

“None of the fronting companies were in the business of or had any track record in PPE supplies. NHLS officials bent the rules to favour the fronting companies. There is no evidence anywhere on the record that the NHLS officials invited quotations or granted contracts to any other supplier on the basis of them simply dropping off a business card,” the judgment reads.

Ndlovu jointly opposed the application with HamilonN Holdings, Hamilton Projects and Feliham. Although Ndlovu did not answer the allegations of fraud against him and the companies he represented, he largely denies the allegations. He also disputes, as alleged by the applicants, that the impugned payments were without cause because no PPE was delivered to the NHLS. He asserts the right to recover all the cost he and the companies he represents incurred when they supplied PPEs to the NLHS.

The rest of the fronting companies have tendered repayment of the amounts retained or Ndlovu paid them from funds deriving from the impugned payments. They plead that they should not be held liable to the HNLS for the full amount the applicants seek to recover in these proceedings jointly and severally with Ndlovu and the companies he represents.

Ndlovu made headlines in May 2020 after posting a video boasting about buying five vehicles for himself and his family members. They included three Porsches, a Lamborghini Urus and a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which cost an estimated R11-million. He later issued an apology, stating he realised that the video was in poor taste. DM

 

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Rob Martin says:

    Oh Good. Just a start. What about the good Dr Mkhize and his wife???

  • Stephen T says:

    “NHLS officials bent the rules…”
    Which officials were these? Corruption is a two-way street. Is there not a paper trail to follow? Find them and put their names on a public register of corruption because they will surely rear their despicable heads again and do their filthy deeds if/when the NHI is eventually launched.

  • Gregory Scott says:

    Another one bites the dust?
    or will he?
    No mention of criminal proceedings???

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.