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The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) last week obtained an order to seize the assets of convicted fraudster Daniel Mtimkulu to pay his former employer, Prasa, more than R5.5m from a fraudulently obtained salary hike.

In Ekurhuleni’s Palm Ridge High Court, magistrate Philip Venter found on March 15 that the National Prosecuting Authority’s AFU was entitled to confiscate R5,580,206.22 from Mtimkulu’s properties in Johannesburg, Langebaan and Cape Town.

However, the NPA was restrained in that at least R1,1m from the sale of Mtimkulu’s apartment and parking bays in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, needed to be paid to Assetline — a short-term loan company — after a 2023 high court order in Assetline’s favour after Mtimkulu failed to pay back a R550,000 loan taken out in 2020.

In Venter’s ruling, the NPA was also restrained from confiscating more than 50% of the worth of Mtimkulu’s properties in Langebaan and Cape Town, as these were co-owned by his former wife.

Previously, in ruling on the amount he owed to Prasa, the Gauteng High Court noted that while employed at Prasa Mtimkulu in 2010 pretended to have a diploma and bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Vaal University of Technology, which led to him being appointed executive manager in engineering services.

Then, “a few months later”, according to the 2019 ruling by judge Leonie Windell, in which Prasa successfully sued Mtimkulu for his fraudulent misrepresentation, Mtimkulu told Prasa he had obtained a doctorate from the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

He then produced a fake offer of employment from a German firm offering him a salary of R2.8m a year as an engineering services specialist. In a letter dated September 14 2010, Lucky Montana, who the Zondo commission found played a significant role in state capture and who was Prasa CEO at the time, offered to match the proposed salary. This  almost doubled Mtimkulu’s salary at the time, which was R1.65m a year.

The amount to be claimed from Mtimkulu’s assets is calculated as the difference between the R1.65m a year he was earning, and the increase to R2.8m a year he received from late 2010 until 2015.

Rail activist organisation #UniteBehind applauded the AFU for obtaining the order.

#UniteBehind legal officer Joseph Mayson said that Mtimkulu was at the centre of the “tall trains” debacle in which Prasa paid R2.7bn in 2012 for 70 locomotives that did not fit on SA’s railways. It was Mtimkulu, under Montana’s instructions, who drew up the specifications for the locomotives supplied by Spanish company Vossloh, acquired through BEE front company Swifambo.

“The SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal) held, in 2020, that ‘the specifications for the locomotives to be supplied were drawn up by Mtimkulu. He had no expertise in the subject, but had been appointed to a position at Prasa by Montana in 2010’,” stated Mayson.

The SCA had also said the specifications matched those of Vossloh locomotives, said Mayson, and the high court found that Mtimkulu tailored the specifications to ensure Vossloh would be awarded the bid.

“With the above corrupt conduct, Mtimkulu’s true cost to Prasa and SA runs into billions of rands. This must also be taken into account when Mtimkulu is finally sentenced. He must serve the maximum jail time for his fraud and corruption,” said Mayson.


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