Housing MEC welcomes fraudster's sentence

2013-03-05 22:27
Ntombi Mekgwe (Picture: Beeld)

Ntombi Mekgwe (Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Local Government and Housing MEC Ntombi Mekgwe has welcomed Lenasia land fraudster Mandla Dlamini's sentence of three years' imprisonment on Tuesday.

"We are happy that he is going to spend time in prison," Mekgwe said in a statement.

"When he solicited money from the people he knew exactly what he was doing was wrong."

Dlamini, 75, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment by the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Six months of the sentence would be compulsory and it would be up to the director of correctional services whether Dlamini was then released.

The bricklayer was convicted of two counts of fraud for illegally selling stands and promising to build houses for people in Lenasia and Ennerdale.

He was arrested in June last year.

One of the complainants paid him a deposit of R17 000 to build a house, while the other paid R12 000.

Dlamini had illegally sold government land intended for development.

Mekgwe said she would be pleased to see more people who had been duped by unscrupulous individuals coming forward with information.

"We will take any information given to us very seriously and allow the law to take its course."

Gauteng human settlement department's anti-corruption unit head Papadi Makhetha said Dlamini's case was part of a large number of similar cases before the courts.

"There is one case in which Richard Zikhali, who is said to be a kingpin, has allegedly defrauded people of millions of rands.

"Other cases are also underway in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court."

Zikhali's fraud case was set to resume in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in April next year, said Makhetha.

He was also accused of illegally selling government land in Lenasia and remained in custody.

"We are happy that these alleged fraudsters have been brought before the courts to face the law," said Makhetha.

In November, the Gauteng housing department demolished about 50 houses in Lenasia.

The department said it was acting within the law because the houses were illegally built on government land.

The plots on which the houses were built had apparently been fraudulently sold for amounts ranging from R2 500 to R95 000.

The buyers were given forged deeds of sale with the department's logo.

Following the bulldozing of houses, Lenasia residents held several protests about the demolitions and blockaded roads leading into Lenasia with rocks and burning tyres.

Further demolitions were halted following a ruling by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

The SA Human Rights Commission took the department to court, calling for demolitions to be stopped so it could investigate whether any human rights were being infringed.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  ntombi mekgwe  |  johannesburg  |  housing  |  local government

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