More trouble for Edwin Sodi as assets go missing

More trouble for Edwin Sodi as assets go missing

More trouble for Edwin Sodi as assets go missing

Edwin Sodi was living a high life, but all that came down crashing in a dramatic way after the asset forfeiture unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) swooped on his properties, including luxury vehicles and a palatial mansion in Johannesburg yesterday.

But some of the luxury vehicles and properties the state sought to seize could not be found by close of business. The NPA took aim at 29 vehicles and 27 properties, 19 active accounts and household goods belonging to Sodi and his company Blackhead Consulting.

The assets seizures are related to the R255m asbestos scandal in Free State where Blackhead Consulting and Diamond Hill Trading were in a joint venture that won the tender for the project in 2014.

Sowetan understands that luxury cars that the state could not find yesterday included a white 2017 Rolls Royce Ghost Family Dawn, a blue 2017 Bentley Continental Super Sports convertible and a 2017 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG.

The NPA dispatched a team across Johannesburg to locate some of the luxury vehicles and assets that form part of the preservation order granted by the Bloemfontein High Court last week.

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema appealed to those who may be in possession of any of the missing assets to come forward as they risk “finding themselves in trouble as well”.

Ngwema said the curator was yesterday doing inventories at various properties in Bryanston, Johannesburg, but also attaching a number of assets, including luxury vehicles and other movable assets.

“Of course they will also attach the houses, but the accused can remain or still have custody of the houses but they are not allowed to transfer them, they are not allowed to do any alterations to them. The only thing they must (do is) pay taxes and rates and maintain those properties to the standards they are in now,” he said.

The state is seeking to freeze R300m worth of assets belonging to Sodi and his six coaccused, including former Mangaung mayor Olly Mlamleli and the former HOD of the Free State’s department of human settlements, Nthimotse Mokhesi, who stand accused in the fraud and corruption case related to the R255mFree State project to remove asbestos roofs in the province.

The seven accused were all arrested last week and appeared in court, where they were released on bail ranging from R500,000 for Sodi to R100,000 for the former Free State human settlements supply chain head Mahlomola John Matlakala.

The assets seized yesterday in Bryanston included a white Bentley, a red Ferrari sports car and a black Porsche Cayenne.

Others were a 2017 white Bentley Continental GT coupe with a book value of between R3m and R5m, a 2017 red Ferrari Four F151 with a book value of at least R3m, as well as a 2019 black Porsche Cayenne S Coupe valued at just under R2m.

They were all driven into Blackhead Consulting offices, where curator Gerhard Geldenhuys from PriceWaterhouseCoopers was waiting with a mighty pen to attach them.

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