Woman arrested, in court following illegal sale of City of Joburg flat

The woman was arrested on Thursday by the SAPS and charged for theft.

A City of Johannesburg official has appeared in court for allegedly selling a flat belonging to the city to the tenant, mayor Herman Mashaba said on Sunday.

Cloene Ruth Smith, 59, a program co-ordinator in the social development department, was arrested on Thursday by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and charged for theft. She subsequently appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, he said.

In July 2017 the city’s group forensic and investigation services (GFIS) received a complaint from the housing department about the alleged illegal sale of a municipal flat – 24 Claude Bekker in South Hills, Johannesburg.

An investigation by the GFIS revealed that after the lawful tenant of the flat died in January 2016, Smith unlawfully allocated the flat to someone else,” Mashaba said.

“Smith then approached the new tenant and informed them that she was in charge of the flat and was selling it for R50,000.  A deal was then concluded; both parties agreed that the money would be paid in monthly installments.

“It is alleged that the new tenant paid Smith a deposit of R6000 and a monthly rental of R2000 from February 2016 until March 2017. A total of R24,000 was paid to the official,” he said.

The city’s administration would make every effort to pursue the prosecution of corrupt individuals and recoup money owed to the city’s residents.

“That is why we will continue to vigorously pursue every allegation of corruption. 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,” Mashaba said.

Residents could report any suspected fraud and corruption through the 24-hour tip-off hotline 0800-002-587 or visit the GFIS offices at 48 Ameshoff Street in Braamfontein.

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