SA Seizes R1.4 Million Cash From Zimbabwean Man After Police Officers Refused R500 000 Bribe
Tafadzwa Muyambo, a Zimbabwean man, is facing a financial blow as the National Director of Public Prosecutions’ (NDPP) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in the Free State secured a preservation order against him to seize his Volkswagen Polo and R1.4 million in cash. Muyambo was arrested in November 2021 near Kroonstad, South Africa, after the police discovered the cash in the boot of his car.
Arrest and Confiscation
During a routine roadblock, two police officers found two bags of cash in the boot of Muyambo’s car. When questioned, Muyambo failed to give the officers a satisfactory explanation for being in possession of such a huge amount of money. He claimed he got the money from selling gold illegally, but later stated that the money was from a business partner who gave him R1.5 million that day for operational costs as part of the transport business.
Adv. Lize van Dyk, the State Prosecutor, rejected Muyambo’s explanation as he was arrested early in the morning, and the money was given out of official business hours. The High Court found the circumstances surrounding the route that the money travelled to be quite peculiar.
Money to be seized and deposited in the Criminal Asset Recovery Account
Phaladi Shuping, the provincial spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), confirmed that the AFU secured the preservation order against Muyambo and his business partner Inoque Ziezie Muchanga. Shuping added that the court granted the AFU the order because the cash and the car were found to be proceeds of crime.
The court concluded that the money was the proceeds of unlawful activities, and the R500 000 was an attempt to bribe the officers. The officers rejected Muyambo’s offer of R500 000, and he was subsequently arrested, and the vehicle and the money were seized.
Shuping said that the money seized from Muyambo would be deposited into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA), and the vehicle would be sold at an auction, with the proceeds being used to strengthen the fight against crime.
Muyambo’s Criminal Trial
Muyambo is currently standing trial in the Kroonstad Magistrate’s Court. In response to the NDPP’s application, Muyambo stated that he was a major shareholder and a director of Nyaboko Trading (Pty) Ltd, a company incorporated in terms of the Companies Act of Zimbabwe, with its main place of business situated at Stand 17094, Damofalls Park, Zimbabwe. Although a citizen of Zimbabwe, he resided with his family in Virginia, Free State, where he owned immovable property.
According to Shuping, Muyambo’s criminal trial is ongoing, and he faces the possibility of losing both the car and the cash. Muyambo’s situation is a warning to others that crime does not pay, and the authorities will spare no effort to crack down on illegal activities.