Luxury vehicle seized from wife of Limpopo official accused of extortion

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Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d Coupé being loaded on to a tow truck.

  • The NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained a preservation order to seize a Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d Coupé belonging to the wife of an official at the Mogalakwena Local Municipality in Limpopo.
  • The vehicle is believed to be the proceeds of criminal activities, including extortion and money laundering.
  • According to the NPA, David Kgantshi Malepa is accused of extorting service providers of the municipality by threatening to withhold their payment.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has obtained a court order allowing it to seize a Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d Coupé belonging to the wife of an official at the Mogalakwena Local Municipality in Limpopo. It is believed to be the proceeds of unlawful activities.

In a statement on Tuesday, the NPA said the High Court in Limpopo granted a preservation of property order for the vehicle registered in the name of Paulinah Mmapule Malepa, the wife of David Kgantshi Malepa, the deputy manager of technical at the municipality.

Malepa stands accused of extorting service providers of the municipality, threatening them to pay money into bank account numbers he provided.

Failing to pay the money, Malepa allegedly told service providers he would not authorise payment for the services they rendered to the municipality.

READ | Mogalakwena Municipality placed under administration

NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said it was revealed that during 2017 a number of service providers of the municipality were coerced into paying money to Mercurius Motors in Polokwane for the purchase of the Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d Coupé.

“The service providers paid the total amount of R1 400 000 to Mercurius Motors for the purchase of the said Mercedes-Benz motor vehicle,” Malabi-Dzhangi said.

Malepa then allegedly registered the Mercedes-Benz in the name of his wife, who is employed as a teacher by the Department of Basic Education.

“The said Mercedes-Benz motor vehicle is believed to be the proceeds of unlawful activities, namely extortion and money laundering.”

Malabi-Dzhangi said the preservation order was obtained as a result of excellent co-operation between the NPA and the Hawks.

“This case reinforces law enforcements’ commitment to ensuring that no person should benefit from crime.

“The NPA welcomes the order and asset forfeiture remains an effective law enforcement mechanism to ensure that no person should benefit from crime and to ensure that crime does not pay.”

ALSO READ | 250 000 reward offered to help identify person who murdered Limpopo ANC leaders

reported in January that the Mogalakwena municipality was officially placed under administration after governance had collapsed and two senior officials were shot and killed.

The collapse of the municipality was the result of intense infighting as well as the emergence of damning reports by the municipal public accounts committee into corruption and other illegal activities, which were prevented from being tabled by some council members over the past three years.

The municipality also obtained unqualified, two adverse and two disclaimer audit reports over the past five years.

It was further reported that the murders of committee chairperson Vaaltyn Kekana, 54, and local ANC leader Ralph Kganyane, 32, in 2019 were meant to silence them because they spoke out against corruption.

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