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Alleged property hijacker in court today Print E-mail
29 January 2018
JoburgMagistratesCourt
 
A 38-year-old alleged property hijacker, who is Ethiopian, is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court today.

City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba said swift responses from City Power officials, the City of Johannesburg’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) led to the arrest of yet another property hijacker in the inner city.

It is alleged that he hijacked a building called 63 Rissik Street in the inner city in January last year.

“I was informed that officials from City Power went to 63 Rissik Street to disconnect electricity that was illegally connected. On arrival at the building, they suspected that it was hijacked and informed officials from GFIS. An investigation was then conducted to ascertain the rightful owner of the property. It was established that it does not belong to the suspect as he claimed. GFIS officials and JMPD officers then rushed to the building, when they arrived, the suspect, who had been collecting rent from the tenants, ran away,” said Mayor Mashaba.

A tenant residing in the building spotted the suspect at a nearby building and informed the team. He was then arrested on the spot.

“When he was questioned about the ownership of the building, he indicated that it belongs to a certain Mr Mahomed, who had in turn leased it out to him last year. He further indicated that he was not paying Mr Mahomed because the agreement was that he first renovates the building,” said Mayor Mashaba.

The City of Joburg is currently grappling with the scourge of hijacked properties but it is making steady progress in addressing the challenge. Thirteen hijacked properties have been handed back to their rightful owners and three alleged property hijackers have been arrested in the last three weeks. About 164 buildings are confirmed as hijacked in the City.

“In the past three months, we have arrested six alleged property hijackers. A kingpin and his accomplice were also sentenced in December last year. Following these arrests, property hijackers are now contacting the 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 it was essential that the current administration bring back the rule of law in the City and take it back from the criminal elements such as landlords who take advantage of desperate people and house them under deplorable conditions.

“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,” Mayor Mashaba concluded.

 

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Last Updated on 29 January 2018