The National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit has frozen assets worth R13 million belonging to former head of Crime Intelligence Richard Mdluli and his co-accused in the “slush fund” corruption case. 

The restraint order was served on Mdluli, former Crime Intelligence supply chain manager Heine Barnard and former chief financial officer Solomon Lazarus on Tuesday.

Mdluli’s former and current wives, and Lazarus and Barnard’s wives were also cited as respondents. 

The three men have been charged with multiple counts of corruption, fraud and theft between 2008 and 2012. The three men were employed by Crime Intelligence at the time and in control of its secret service account, which composed funds allocated by National Treasury for the preventing crime and gathering intelligence.

Mdluli took several trips which were allegedly paid for out of the secret fund, including a holiday to China in November 2009. R50 000 was used to purchase an airplane ticket for Mdluli, and a further R50 000 in cash was used to buy a ticket for Mdluli’s then wife.

Mdluli also claimed for accommodation, clothes and electronic goods, for which no receipts were provided.

In addition, several of Mdluli’s family members were “employed” as service agents, and given vehicles and salaries. 

Mdluli, Lazarus and Barnard are also accused of using witness protection houses for their personal use. Mdluli also got the state to lease his property as a safe house.

Asset Forfeiture Unit head, advocate Ouma Rabaji-Rasethaba, said the NPA had a two-pronged strategy for prosecuting those responsible for looting state coffers. The first is a criminal prosecution and the second is taking the proceeds of crime away through forfeiture proceedings.

[Photo: Cornel van Heerden/news24]