The Free State High Court in Bloemfontein has granted the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) a restraint order to attach R249 million worth of property linked to the officials at the provincial Department of Agriculture accused of fraud and corruption.

Former CFO Sylvia Dlamini and former head of department, Peter Thabethe, are among those facing fraud, forgery, uttering, corruption and money laundering charges.

They were arrested after the Hawks discovered irregularities in the financial flow analysis of a company called Superior Quality Trading, which also traded as Rekgonne Community Projects.

It is alleged that government officials gave a number of contracts to the company, paying it more than R200 million between 2012 and 2016.

Peter Thabethe testifies at the state capture commission in the video below:

“The company also had a certificate of attendance even though it was not present at the compulsory briefing where these certificates were issued. Between 2012 and 2016, the department is said to have paid more than R244m to the company. It is further alleged that the director of Superior Quality Trading, Mohapi, paid huge sums of money into account of Dlamini, who was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the department at the time. These payments were disguised as Refund Telkomsa and Medical services,” says National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Spokesperson, Sipho Ngwema.

He says the matter was discovered during Estina’s financial flow analysis exercise of the bank accounts that were irregularities and disguised payments to one of the agriculture departmental officials.

The accused’s bail of R10 000 has been extended.