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Asset Forfeiture Unit seizes four properties, bank accounts from former DRC defence attaché

Asset Forfeiture Unit seizes four properties, bank accounts from former DRC defence attaché
The back of 227 Acacia Road, Northcliff, Johannesburg. The NPA’s Pretoria Asset Forfeiture Unit secured a preservation of over R43m to preserve properties and two accounts of former Brigadier Ngoy Timothee Makwamba for alleged fraud at the DRC Embassy relating to purchase weapons from the Denel Group. (Photo: NPA)

The NPA has served a R43m preservation order on a former defence attaché from the DRC who allegedly misappropriated a refund from arms manufacturer Denel for his own benefit.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has obtained a preservation order for more than R43-million to preserve four properties and two bank accounts of former Brigadier Ngoy Timothee Makwamba, who was assigned by Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as a defence attaché to South Africa.

The matter concerns a deal in which the DRC ministry of defence decided to buy weapons from the Denel Group. Denel received R49.6-million from the DRC embassy, but was unable to process the order and returned the money. However, Makwamba is alleged to have siphoned the money to members of his family.

properties drc defence attache

The NPA’s Pretoria Asset Forfeiture Unit seized properties and two accounts of former Brigadier Ngoy Timothee Makwamba for alleged fraud at the DRC Embassy relating to the purchase weapons from the Denel Group. Above is the front of 227 Acacia Road, Northcliff, Johannesburg. (Photo: NPA)

According to NPA regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana, a preservation order of more than R43-million was obtained at the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria on 11 March 2024. On Tuesday, 2 April, the Sheriff, with the AFU and curator, visited the four properties to serve the preservation order.

The curator has since taken control of the four properties. The next step is to apply for a final forfeiture order.

properties drc defence attache

The NPA’s Pretoria Asset Forfeiture Unit seized 26 Beverley Hills Crescent, Centurion Golf Estate in Gauteng from former Brigadier Ngoy Timothee Makwamba. (Photo: NPA)

Mahanjana said that once the final forfeiture order was obtained, the properties would be sold at a public auction. The proceeds would be returned to the DRC.

Mahanjana said Makwamba had not been arrested and the investigation was continuing.

The following properties and bank accounts were preserved and frozen:

  • A Nedbank account with a balance of R35-million in the name of The Defence Office of the Democratic Republic of Congo Embassy.
  • A Nedbank Investment account, also in the name of The Defence Office Democratic Republic Congo Embassy, with R224,000 in the account.
  • A property in the Centurion Golf Estate, Gauteng, held in the name of Ngoy Timothee Makwamba.
  • A property known as The Falcons in Kilberry, Pretoria, held in the names of Ngoy Timothee Makwamba, Milleno Timothee Ngoy, and Ngoie Glo-Glo Gloria.
  • A Northcliff, Johannesburg, property registered in the name of Bokomo Bokondo; and
  • A property in Pretoria registered in the names of Mr Eustache Monga and Ms Nkulu Julie Kilumba.

The crisis at Denel has been widely reported over the years.

In May 2021, Daily Maverick reported the financial crisis at Denel had intensified as the state-owned entity’s business division, which is at the heart of South Africa’s armoured vehicle and artillery innovation, failed to pay the salaries of its 400 workers.

Daily Maverick further reported that the company struggles to service its debt of R3.6-billion and has failed to fill orders from customers.

Rerouting the refund

Mahanjana explained that the case stemmed from a criminal case of fraud and theft filed by the DRC against Ngoy.

Brig Gen Ngoy Timothée Makwamba from Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018. Photo: Facebook

One of his duties, as assigned by the DRC ministry of defence, was to purchase weapons from Denel.

“The DRC embassy then made a payment of R49.6-million to the Denel Group. However, the Denel Group could not process the order and arranged to pay back the money to the DRC embassy,” said Mahanjana.

“In December 2022, the DRC government terminated Brigadier Ngoy’s contract, and [he] was no longer mandated to represent the country. Instead, Brigadier Ngoy fraudulently and unlawfully represented himself to Denel as the delegated representative of DRC,” she explained.

Mahanjana said Ngoy was still a signatory to the DRC’s defence account and had the authority to instruct Denel where to send the refund payment.

Ngoy then allegedly provided Denel with the details of Johan van Heerden Attorneys’ bank account, into which the Denel Group paid the R49.6-million refund on 13 April 2023.

“Once Johan van Heerden Attorneys received the funds, the funds were then transferred to the bank accounts listed above. The money in these accounts was then used to purchase properties listed above, which were then registered under his and his children’s names, Milleno Timothee Ngoy and Ngoie Glo-Glo Gloria and other persons from the DRC,” Mahanjana said.

According to Mahanjana, further investigations by the Financial Intelligence Centre revealed the flow of funds, resulting in the identification of the two bank accounts.

Mahanjana emphasised the importance of this preservation order in the implementation of the AFU’s asset recovery strategy, which seeks to return criminal proceeds to the state.

The overall national anti-corruption strategy of law enforcement agencies was to strengthen the fight against corruption by pursuing both civil and criminal processes to ensure that impunity was no longer an option, she said. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Tumelo Tumelo says:

    The stench of incompetence, dishonesty and lawlessness has permeated every facet of our economy. Realtors, attorneys and the banks are all complicit in the treachery spearheaded by the ruinous ANC.

    • Liza Gumbi says:

      What has this man got to do with the ANC?
      As far as I can tell – he cheated the DRC of R49.3m – which is why they opened a fraud case against him.
      Seems man deceived a lot of people. Remember he might have had diplomatic immunity while contracted.
      Obv didn’t tell people his contact was over.

      • Tumelo Tumelo says:

        ‘Spearheaded’ being the key word here. For one, the fact you cannot think laterally in linking an SOE returning millions in rands to a client, because an order could not be fulfilled, to the ruling government is breathtaking. The brazenness in which we see the private sector acting with such impunity and lawlessness can DIRECTLY be linked to the criminal enterprise called the ANC! Please spare us nonsensical ramblings here on the comment section.

    • Walter Spatula says:

      “My turn to eat”. It’s genuinely repulsive and frankly pathetic.

    • Greeff Kotzé says:

      Yes, all of the fees paid to “Johan van Heerden Attorneys” should also be preserved and made forfeit, at the very least! And then also work on disbarring and prosecuting whichever attorney it was that handled the transfers.

  • Greeff Kotzé says:

    Four South African properties? Who wants to wager that laying claim to the Denel refund was not the first shady transaction the dear Brigadier participated in?

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Hilarious that they go after certain foreigners ( who haven’t parted with a kickback). Whilst others live happily in Dubai. This man is small fry compared to the Guptas – where are they and why are they walking free? And as for our local corruptors….related to Denel fraud…. They’re living happily in SA with private bank accounts elsewhere!

  • Julian Chandler says:

    Sad to think Denel, once known as Armskor, couldn’t fulfill a R49m contract, that had been paid in full.

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