The Pretoria Regional court granted has granted a Confiscation Order of R599 783 against former top cop of Crime Intelligence (CI), Major General Solomon Lazarus in connection with his looting of the Secret Services Account of the SAPS (SSA).
Investigating Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said that the SAPS had access to funds in the SSA to finance covert projects and investigations and had created a front company called Universal Technical Enterprises CC (UTE), which was operated for the purchase of covert vehicles to be used in covert projects and CI investigations.
Former top cop, Lazarus was the Chief Financial Officer of the SSA and also a member of UTE. The funds used by UTE originated from the SAPS SSA, which were generated from the state fiscus.
“Atlantis Motors was identified as a service provider for the purpose of buying vehicles to be used by CI. The motivation for the purchase of all vehicles and the expenditure had to be approved by Lazarus,” Seboka said.
“From the R64 million in transactions between UTE and Atlantis motors, money was transferred to a slush fund in the books of Atlantis Motors. Lazarus then used his position to purchase personal vehicles for his wife and his children. He also used the same coffers to pay a deposit in respect of his personal cars,” Seboka said.
Lazarus was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to 10 years in prison for accepting undue gratifications during the period 2008 to 2011 to the value of R231 626.07. The former top cop’s sentence was handed down on 9 December 2020.
Regional Magistrate, Adriaan Bekker, who presided over both the criminal case and the asset forfeiture application, ordered a confiscation inquiry in terms of Section 18(1) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (POCA) on 09 December 2020.
“During the confiscation enquiry in March 2021, the Investigating Directorate (ID) argued that Lazarus received benefits totalling R1 242 132.31 from January 2008 to April 2012. This includes benefits received in respect of an ATV, a Kia Picanto, a Nissan Murano, a Honda CBR and a payment in respect of a scooter. The state also argued that the R1 291 326.09 represent historical values and that it should be expressed in current terms, namely R2 178 845.29,” Seboka said.
Bekker found that the top cop’s total benefit was R599 783, taking into consideration the Consumer Price index to determine the vehicles’ current value as calculated on 09 March 2021.
The R599 783 comprises:
- The ATV: R 66 855
- The Kia: R 107 000 25.3
- The Murano: R381 243
- The CBR: R 44 685
“Before this order was made, Lazarus appealed against his conviction and sentence and the prosecution team is finalising the case record to take the appeal further. Lazarus remains on bail pending the appeal,” Seboka said.