Mike Mabuyakhulu Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Mike Mabuyakhulu Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) — armed with a preservation order — was knocking on the door of ANC heavyweight Mike Mabuyakhulu on Thursday morning.

Mabuyakhulu‚ deputy chair of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal‚ faces graft charges relating to the saga surrounding the R28m North Sea Jazz Festival dating back to 2012 and 2013.

An NPA official confirmed to TimesLIVE that a team swooped on 16 locations in Durban and Pretoria in an attempt to preserve assets of Mabuyakhulu and his co-accused.

Homes and moveable assets such as luxury cars were attached in terms of a Durban high court order issued on December 14‚ said the official‚ who asked not to be named.

Six Mercedes Benzes‚ three Land Rovers‚ three Audis and a Jeep Wrangler were among the vehicles seized.

Hawks spokesperson Capt Simphiwe Mhlongo confirmed that their officers had accompanied the sheriff of the court and AFU officials in serving the interim preservation order on the respondents.

Reacting to the raid at his home on Thursday morning‚ Mabuyakhulu told TimesLIVE that he was “fine”.

“You know‚ I’m fine. That’s what is clear … I am fine‚” he said.

He would not be drawn to comment further on the action‚ insisting that the matter was before court.

Advocate Jimmy Howse‚ acting for Mabuyakhulu‚ said he had been notified of the seizure operation on Thursday morning.

The trial against Mabuyakhulu and his seven co-accused is due to resume in February. 

At an October appearance‚ the state informed magistrate Christabel Mazibuko that a postponement was required because it was awaiting further particulars from some of Mabuyakhulu’s co-accused.

Mabuyakhulu and Durban business person Mabheleni Ntuli were cited among the five main roleplayers in a fraud‚ corruption and money-laundering case relating to the failed jazz festival.

It is alleged that during his tenure as MEC of economic development in KwaZulu-Natal‚ Mabuyakhulu directed R28m into the accounts of his seven co-accused and nine other companies and business people for which he allegedly received a R300‚000 kickback. The funds were scheduled payments for the music festival to be hosted in Durban‚ which never took place.

Other main alleged conspirators are Desmond Golding‚ former head of the KwaZulu-Natal department of economic development and tourism; Ceaser Walter Mkhize‚ owner of Soft Skills Communication, Maqhoboza Traders and Shaka Holdings; and Nothando Zungu‚ a member of Soft Skills Communications and sole member of Ishashalazi Productions.