Twenty-one suspected property hijackers were arrested in Malvern, east of Johannesburg, on Tuesday night as the city of Johannesburg’s war against property hijackers continues.
Four suspects were arrested on 3rd Street while 17 suspects were arrested on 22nd Street in Malvern.
Those arrested are expected to appear in the Jeppestown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday where they are expected to be charged with contempt of court, trespassing, and malicious damage to property.
The suspects were arrested for occupying the properties which belonged to one owner since 2013.
The suspects denied the owner access into his properties alleging that he was a property hijacker. The owner was intimidated in the process according to Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
The owner obtained an eviction order in 2017 which was executed but the suspected hijackers forcefully moved back into the property the same day.
The owner then approached the city’s group forensic and investigation service department which, together with the police, investigated the matter.
Mashaba said he was delighted that another property owner gained control of his properties which were in the hands of hijackers bringing the total number to 31 of hijacked properties returned to their owners.
The arrest was part of an operation by GFIS, police and the Johannesburg metro.