Preservation order for R2.9m PE house

Rubin Crescent, Summerstrand
Picture: Google Maps

A Port Elizabeth woman stands to lose her R2.9-million house, which was allegedly bought with ill-gotten gains meant for the beleaguered Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS).

The Port Elizabeth High Court issued a preservation order yesterday for the Summerstrand house, owned by the daughter of alleged fraudster Andrea Wessels.

The property was bought in June 2014 for R2.5-million. It is now on the market for R2.9-million.

The house in Rubin Crescent is registered in the name of Dankovista (Pty) Ltd, a marketing company with its last registered address in Uitenhage.

The sole director of the firm is Wessels’s daughter, Rukaard Abrahams.

Abrahams has 14 days to oppose the preservation order.

Wessels and her co-accused – former EP Rugby president Cheeky Watson, former assistant director in the metro’s finance department Nadia Gerwel, former Laphum’ilanga Transport Services director Mandisi Mkasa and former Access Facilities and Leisure Management chief executive Stephan Pretorius – face charges of fraud and money laundering relating to the IPTS.

The preservation order is related to an allegedly unlawful cash transfer – made on June 10 2014 – of R9 895 838.40 allegedly paid from IPTS funds to project management company Heerkos Projects CC.

In 2014, Heerkos submitted an invoice to the municipality for the development of an internet-based tender management system.

The municipality had never received the system, NPA regional spokesman Tsepo Ndwalaza said yesterday.

“IPTS funds were used to settle this invoice although there was never a budget for it, nor did it fall within the IPTS purpose,” he said.

From there, R7-million had been transferred to Dankovista’s bank account, of which R2.5-million was then transferred to the trust account of DTS Attorneys and used to buy the Rubin Crescent property in October 2014, Ndwalaza said.

Yesterday’s preservation order was not the first time the property had been attached.

Last year, it was “frozen” because of an amount of R289 030 Abrahams had received from Wessels.

“The R289 030 emanated from the IPTS funds and Abrahams paid it back, with interest, and applied for the release of the property to sell it,” Ndwalaza said.

The property has been on the market ever since.

“Dankovista and Abrahams will be given an opportunity to oppose the granting of the forfeiture order to the state,” Ndwalaza said.

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