The Special Tribunal has granted a preservation order interdicting, restraining and prohibiting controversial PPE-tender-linked businessman Thabiso Hamilton Ndlovu from disposing of his assets, money and properties pending the institution of review proceedings to be instituted by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS).
Judge Lebogang Modiba granted the order following an urgent ex parte application brought to the Special Tribunal on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.
In terms of the order, “Ndlovu, Zaisan Kaihatsu (Pty) Ltd and Bugatti Security Services and Projects, second and fourth respondents, respectively, are restrained, interdicted and prohibited from transferring any of the properties; and/or encumbering the property with a mortgage bond; and/or allowing the retention to be established over the property; and/or selling or leasing the property,” said the tribunal in a statement on Wednesday.
Judge Modiba directed that the applicants, the SIU and NHLS, may approach the Special Tribunal with supplementary papers for a variation or extension of the order.
“The respondents may apply for the reconsideration of the order in terms of Rule 12 (9) of the Special Tribunal. In such an event the parties shall avail themselves for case management where dates for the filing of further papers and the hearing of the reconsideration application shall be determined in line with Rule 19 of the Special Tribunal Rules,” it said.
The applicants have been directed to institute review proceedings within 30 days of the granting of the order.
This as investigations continue on whether personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts obtained by companies linked to Nldovu were legally granted.
Ndlovu’s R36 million tax bill
Ndlovu got the attention of South Africans and officials after buying five luxury cars in one go and shared the news with a video on social media in May last year.
He bought one Lamborghini Urus, three Porsches and a Jeep for himself, the “kids”, his parents and his wife. The collective value of the cars was said to be about R10.5 million.
He was slapped with a R36 million SA Revenue Service (Sars) bill earlier this year.
In his ruling, judge Roland Sutherland said Ndlovu was “solely responsible” for Sars taking an interest in his affairs by sharing his fleet on social media for the world to see.
At the time, he probably thought the backlash he received for flaunting his wealth during the pandemic was all he would get, but according to Sutherland’s judgment, Sars officials are on social media too.
“He thrust himself out of obscurity by doing two things. First, in May 2020, he bought five luxury vehicles at about the same time as certain of the other respondents received payment for lucrative contracts with the National Health Laboratory Service.
“Then he bragged about this feat on social media. Apparently, there are people at Sars who trouble to follow social media. They looked at his tax affairs and were impressed that Ndlovu had spared Sars the burden of reading any tax returns since 2016.
“They referred the big spender to the Illicit Economy Unit who have a keen interest in mismatched income and expenditure phenomena. They delved into Ndlovu’s affairs, including his banking accounts.
“What was observed were flows of money to and from one or other of the respondents and to elsewhere, and other incongruent cashflows into one or other respondent which did not ostensibly have a rational business purpose,” the judgment read in part.