Asset Forfeiture Unit secures R43 million preservation order against former DRC defence attaché

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The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has secured a R43 million preservation order emanating from a case of fraud and theft opened by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Embassy against that country’s former Defence Attaché to South Africa, Brigadier Ngoy Timothee Makwamba, who allegedly misappropriated a refund from Denel.

The order was handed down in the Pretoria High Court on 11 March and is to preserve four properties and two bank accounts.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, one of Makwamba’s duties as the defence attaché was to purchase weapons from South Africa’s state-owned defence, security and related technology company, 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.

“In December 2022, the DRC government terminated Brigadier Ngoy’s contract, and was no longer mandated to represent the country. Instead, Brigadier Ngoy fraudulently and unlawfully represented himself to Denel as the delegated representative of DRC. He was still a signatory of the Defence account of the DRC and had the authority to instruct them on where to make the refund payment.

“Brigadier Ngoy then provided the Denel Group with bank account details belonging to Johan van Heerden Attorneys where the Denel Group paid the refund of R49.6 million on 13 April 2023,” Mahanjana said.

She explained that the money was then transferred to bank accounts and used to purchase properties in the names of Ngoy’s children.

“Investigations by the Financial Intelligence Centre revealed the flow of funds which led to the identification of two bank accounts. After obtaining the preservation order, on 2 April 2024 the Sheriff accompanied by the Curator Bonis as well as representatives of AFU attended to the four properties to serve the preservation.

“The four properties are now placed under the control of Curator Bonis. The next step is to apply for the final forfeiture order. After obtaining the final forfeiture order, the properties will be sold at a public auction and the money returned to the DRC,” Mahanjana said.

Makwamba has not been arrested and the investigation is continuing.

The properties preserved include a residence 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 Eustache Monga and Nkulu Julie Kilumba.

A Nedbank account with a balance of R35 million in the name of The Defence Office of the Democratic Republic of Congo Embassy was frozen along with a Nedbank Investment account, also in the name of The Defence Office Democratic Republic Congo Embassy, with a balance of R224 000.