NPA abandons bid to have cash forfeited – much to friends’ relief
Suspected perlemoen kingpin Julian Brown will hold onto his R800 000 bail money after all, bringing relief to the friends and business acquaintances he claimed loaned him the cash.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed yesterday that it had abandoned an application to have the cash forfeited to the state, following its initial claims that the money was the proceeds of unlawful activities.
NPA provincial spokesman Tsepo Ndwalaza said his office could not gainsay the evidence provided in Brown’s opposing papers.
Brown, 31, accused of heading a multimillion-rand perlemoen syndicate, was taken to task in the Port Elizabeth High Court in November last year, with the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) demanding to know how he managed to come up with the huge amount of money in less than 48 hours.
The AFU said Brown could not have generated the money – legitimately – through his construction company, J&B Construction.
Surprisingly, Brown, who now lives in Jeffreys Bay, agreed.
In his opposing papers, he said only R5 000 of the total amount came from his own pocket.
Brown, represented by Danie Gouws Attorneys, said the remainder was loaned to him by friends and business acquaintances, ranging from the father of a former girlfriend, to a truck driver and an electrician.
He was nabbed in June last year on a number of charges, with the most serious being racketeering.
In July, he was granted R800 000 bail by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court – the highest amount in a Port Elizabeth court to date.
The AFU wanted his bail money seized, which would see Brown rearrested and forced to reapply for bail.
It was granted a preservation order on November 22, with the prospect of its being made final.
However, Ndwalaza said yesterday it had since resolved to abandon the preservation order.
“The decision to abandon the preservation order was due to the evidence that Julian Brown furnished in his opposition to the preservation order,” Ndwalaza said.
“He attached affidavits from the five sources of the R800 000 and we cannot gainsay the contents in the affidavits.”
Attorney Danie Gouws said he was happy that the matter had been resolved amicably between the parties.
Brown and co-accused Eugene “Boesman” Victor, 31, and Brandon Turner, 36, are due to appear in the Port Elizabeth High Court on April 18 for a pre-trial conference.