The City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Cllr Herman Mashaba, writes on 30 December:
I was informed of the arrest of Joburg’s most wanted property hijacker and his two co-accused, who are implicated in eight cases of property hijacking in Johannesburg.
The three will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 4 January, 2018.
It is alleged that this kingpin approached unsuspecting tenants residing in properties around Joburg and introduced himself as an investigator. He would then state that the true owners of the properties were hijackers and that the tenants should not co-operate with them.
Further, he would instruct the tenants not to pay any rent to the owners but to him instead.
The same modus operandi was used earlier this year when the kingpin and his co-accused attempted to hijack a building in Jeppestown. The owners of the property informed the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) unit which roped in the Hawks and successfully handed back the property, which was hijacked for a day.
The owners had to obtain an eviction order and it is alleged that the kingpin assisted the evicted illegal occupiers to hijack the property again. A scuffle ensued between security personnel and the illegal occupants, shots were fired and two people were injured in the process.
It is also alleged that, in the past, the kingpin has also utilised the services of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police (JMPD), in order to be escorted to properties he wanted to hijack, under the pretence that he is working closely with the City in investigating hijacked buildings.
GFIS working together with law enforcement agencies such as the South African Police Service (Saps) is at an advanced stage of investigating a number of cases in which the kingpin is implicated in.
The kingpin has been convicted of fraud before and was also found guilty of impersonating a police officer; he has a 157-page criminal profile. It is alleged that he has been operating throughout the country and has criminal cases in Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and in the Western Cape.
Hijacked properties are a major challenge faced by the City but we are pleased with the progress we are making in addressing these challenges.
There are 11 hijacked properties that have been handed back to their rightful owners and we have also arrested three property hijackers in the last three weeks. About 164 buildings are confirmed as hijacked in the City.
We are committed to ensuring that we stop the rot in our inner city and make it a prosperous and inclusive place for our people to live work and play.
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