21 November 2017

South Africa: Mashaba Returns Three Hijacked Joburg Buildings to Rightful Owners

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba announced on Tuesday that three hijacked buildings in the city had been returned to their rightful owners.

Mashaba said two of the hijacked properties were situated in Kenilworth and one in Turffontein, south of Johannesburg.

The handover of the properties followed months of investigations by the City of Johannesburg's Group Forensic and Investigation Service Department (GFIS) and the South African Police Service.

The properties were hijacked in 2016 and the owners were denied access.

"After months of trying to evict the hijackers and their tenants without success, the owners approached GFIS in August 2017 for assistance," Mashaba said.

Mashaba said the GFIS conducted an investigation into the matter which proved that the complainants were the owners of the properties.

The City had conducted an audit of 500 buildings and around 134 had been confirmed as hijacked.

Of the 500 damaged buildings, 24 belonged to the City.

Earlier this month, a couple appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court after they were arrested for hijacking one of the properties. They were among 11 people arrested during a downtown raid. They were denied bail.

Last week, five undocumented immigrants were arrested, and six others arrested for various crimes.

"I am happy that we are not only conducting the raids on hijacked and bad properties, but we are also arresting those that are involved in the hijackings and returning the properties to their rightful owners."

Mashaba said there was no place for criminals to hide in Johannesburg.

Source: News24

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