ANC welcomes arrest of bogus official
Johannesburg - The ANC in Johannesburg has welcomed the arrest of a man who pretended to be a city official able to write off municipal debt.
He used official documents from the city council to dupe residents into believing him.
Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela said the man appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Friday.
The matter was postponed until January 27 to allow police to verify his employment status and address, because he had two identity documents.
The ANC regional spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said on Monday the man should not be granted bail because he was a small part of a bigger syndicate.
"The ANC is reliably informed that there are several more cases that involve this criminal. These cases also involve fraudulent sale of houses," said Matongo.
Polela said the man, who the city council denied was an employee, was arrested at a News Cafe in Braamfontein during a trap on Wednesday.
He had produced official documents purportedly showing he had written off about R346 000 in arrears owed to the city by a single account holder on two accounts.
The man allegedly told a pensioner couple he was a council official and would write off their debt owed for a building in Hillbrow in exchange for R35 000.
He also allegedly threatened to cut off services to the 16-unit building if they did not pay.
According to the Star newspaper, the man led police to Wolmarans Street in the city centre were two other men, who he claimed were his accomplices, were arrested.
However, Polela could not confirm this and said investigations would reveal whether the write-off was authentic.
Matongo warned municipal account holders not to pay money to people who claimed to be council officials outside municipal offices.