The Hawks have arrested a volunteer working at the City of Johannesburg’s Ivory Park housing department offices for allegedly illegally selling council stands and RDP houses, mayor Herman Mashaba said on Sunday.
The arrest of the suspect on Friday followed an investigation by the city’s group forensic and investigation services (GFIS) department and the Hawks after a complaint was received from a member of public who bought two RDP houses at a cost of R150,000 in Ivory Park, north of Johannesburg, he said.
“The complainant met the suspect in September 2014 who indicated that she has two available RDP houses for sale but were illegally occupied by illegal immigrants. Each RDP house was sold for R75,000.
“In December 2014 an amount of R100,000 was paid into the suspect’s bank account. A further R50,000 was paid into the suspect’s bank account later. Despite making full payments no keys of the RDP houses were handed to the complainant,” Mashaba said.
“Upon learning that she was scammed by the suspect, in August 2016 the complainant reported the matter to the suspect’s manager. The suspect then promised to pay back all monies that were paid to her but never did. It is also alleged that other officials from Ivory Park’s housing department are also involved in the scam. The allegations are being investigated,” he said.
It had also emerged that the suspect had also allegedly scammed other people in the Ivory Park area. In 2012 the suspect allegedly illegally sold a vacant stand to a member of the public for R65,000. Only R55,000 was paid into her account and the second complainant promised to pay the balance upon occupation. A lease agreement between the two was signed but the second complainant never occupied the stand.
The suspect allegedly told the second complainant that there were people who were illegally occupying the stand and would be evicted. In 2014 the second complainant asked for a refund but never received it, and was told that the suspect was no longer working for the city as a volunteer.
Mashaba appealed to anyone who might have information on the illegal sale of stands and RDP houses to please come forward. The information would assist law enforcement agencies as they continued to investigate these cases.
“Corruption has no place in this administration and we will work tirelessly and in collaboration with institutions such as the Hawks, SAPS, and all other institutions within the criminal justice system to ensure that the residents of Johannesburg receive the quality services they deserve.
“I would also like to encourage people to report any fraud and corruption activities through our 24-hour tip-off hotline 0800-002-587,” Mashaba said.
– African News Agency (ANA)