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City of Joburg welcomes sentencing of building hijackers Print E-mail
07 December 2017
HijackedBuildings Raid

A 43-year-old building hijacking kingpin, Sinethemba Mkhumbuzi, and his accomplice, 58-year-old Kenneth Ntila, were sentenced to eight years and 15 years imprisonment respectively yesterday for fraud relating to the hijacking of Angus Mansions in the Inner City.

The pair was convicted on 4 September 2017 in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

The Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Herman Mashaba, welcomed the sentence imposed on the two building hijackers.

“Criminals must know that they might run but there is no place for them to hide in Johannesburg,” said Mayor Mashaba.

Between August and November 2006, the pair identified loopholes in the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) website, falsified company records and registered themselves as the owners of Angus Mansions. The 67 units building was owned by Philani Ma-Africa a section 21 company.

After changing ownership of the building, Mkhumbuzi and Ntila then presented themselves as directors of Philani Ma-Africa and sold Angus Mansions for R3.5-million. When they found a buyer for the building they produced fraudulent CIPRO documents, which indicated that they were the directors the company.

“I was informed that one of the accused, Ntila, is an attorney but was struck off the roll in 2014 by the law society. Ntila played a major role in ensuring that documents that were needed for the sale of the property were in order,” said Mayor Mashaba.

The pair assured the conveyancing attorney that everything regarding the sale was above board and that the sale needed to be finalized urgently. A cheque of about R1.1-million was issued by the conveyancing attorney under name of Philani Ma-Africa. The cheque was then deposited into Ntila’s trust account, he then transferred R652 000 to Mkhumbuzi.

Mkhumbuzi and Ntila then applied for an eviction order which was granted. They evicted the tenants at Angus Mansions, most of them had to sleep on the street.

“I am sad to learn that one of an elderly person that was evicted from the property allegedly died due to exposure to this exposure. These criminals wanted to make sure that the property was vacant so that the new owners could take occupation.

“For years the rightful owners of the property have been battling to get back their property, they had to use the little monies that they had to go to courts just to prove that they are the rightful owners. In 2009, Philani-Ma Afrika lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein seeking relief to set aside the purported sale of Angus Mansions. The court also set aside the High Court order that ordered the eviction of the 67 Angus Mansions occupants and owners,” said Mayor Mashaba.

He added that hijacked properties were one of the challenges the City was grappling with, “but we are pleased with the strides we are making in addressing the challenge”, said Mayor Mashaba.

Eleven hijacked properties have been handed back to their rightful owners and three more property hijackers were arrested in the last three weeks. About 164 buildings are confirmed hijacked in the City.

“Following these arrests, property hijackers are now contacting the City’s Group Forensic and investigation Services (GFIS) team volunteering to vacate the properties that they have hijacked. The City will not leave any stone unturned when dealing with criminal activities within its area of jurisdiction and we will continue to intensify the raids at these bad and hijacked properties with the assistance of Saps and other law enforcement agencies,” said Mayor Mashaba.

He said the City was committed to ensuring that it stops the rot in the inner city and make it a prosperous and inclusive place for people to live work and play.

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Last Updated on 07 December 2017