The Department of Local Government and Housing’s commitment to deal with illegal sale of government land and RDP houses is seeing positive results. This follows the recent conviction of three illegal land sellers from two areas in the South of Johannesburg.
Ms. Hlengiwe Ximba pleaded guilty to all charges of fraud and was sentenced to 6 years in jail, with 3 years suspended for illegally selling of land in Lenasia.
Investigations by the Department’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Unit revealed that Ximba and her co accused sold several stands ranging from R 2 500 – R 95 000 and issued buyers with fraudulent Deeds of Sale which bore the Department’s official logo. This led to illegal houses being erected on the Department’s land by illegal buyers, without the Department’s authority.
The other two are convicted person’s are members of the Vlakfontein Development Forum. Ms Nomusa Tshabalala and Ms. Gcinile Sithole fraudulently sold government owned stand to three different people. Tshabalala was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and Sithole to 3 years suspended sentence.
Head of Department Mr. Mongezi Mnyani has applauded the department’s Anti-Fraud team and the SAPS for presenting a strong case against the culprits. “These cases had solid evidence of fraud and corruption and this is attributed to the work done by the SAPS and our department,” said Mnyani.
Mnyani also mentioned that the department has this week seen a number of people coming forward to report cases of fraud and corruption. This comes after the sentencing of a housing official for selling RDP house in Kagiso. “We want people to come forward to expose these people who are hell bent on breaking the law,” he said.
He cautioned the communities to be aware of fraudsters who pose as Department’s officials, selling land to unsuspecting members of the public. “People should double check with deeds office when they want to buy land before parting away with their hard earned monies,” said Mnyani.
The other suspects in the illegal sale of land in Lenasia will appear on the 8th of August 2012 at Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court.