‘Army colonel's’ reign of terror

2014-10-27 06:00

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Agun-toting “honorary army colonel” has been accused of terrorising the residents of a posh Johannesburg security estate.

Residents of the estate, situated in Kempton Park’s exclusive Glen Marais suburb, claim Sam “Prince” Hamade has illegally occupied three houses and gutted one.

They also claim he shot holes in a neighbour’s window recently.

This is not the first time Hamade has raised temperatures on the estate. About two years ago, City Press reported that Hamade had arranged to be illegally appointed as an honorary colonel of the Regiment East Rand of the SA National Defence Force.

His neighbours emerged from their homes one day to find uniformed soldiers getting out of an army truck, and an armoured vehicle rolling over their manicured lawns. This was in honour of the birthday party of Hamade’s son.

Hamade, who is being investigated for gang activity by the Hawks, has previously claimed to be a member of Lebanon’s royal family – he was born there – a friend of President Jacob Zuma and a “deeply undercover and very valuable” police agent. He flaunts a fleet of sports cars, among them a Lamborghini and a Ferrari.

Now he’s being accused of occupying three houses at Glen Marais for the past four years after he “hijacked” them from an insolvent estate.

When the executor of the estate tried late last month to take one of the houses back, Hamade sent in a team of workers who ripped the house apart and removed every fixture, door, window and electrical appliance.

Some of Glen Marais’ residents, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they’d spotted high-ranking police officers at Hamade’s home. Among them was a colonel from the Kempton Park Police Station. The officers’ presence has made residents wary of taking any action against Hamade.

Czech “businessman” and murder accused Radovan Krejcír was another regular visitor to Hamade’s home before Krejcír was arrested late last year.

City Press is in possession of correspondence between the trustee of the insolvent estate, FNB, to whom the property is bonded, and security company KGB about attempts to evict Hamade.

Hamade’s version of events is that he loaned R1.8?million to a businessman who lived on the estate and owned four houses there. In 2010, the businessman went bankrupt and Hamade took possession of the houses, even though they were bonded to Absa and FNB.

Hamade moved into one of the houses and rented the others out. It’s claimed in correspondence that he hasn’t met the bond repayments or paid rates, taxes, water and electricity. He also allegedly owes the body corporate hundreds of thousands of rands.

The trustee of the estate, Elsje Rautenbach, appointed KGB security to safeguard the house. They put two guards at the premises, but on September 24, Hamade chased them away and started ransacking the house.

Rautenbach confirmed in emails City Press has seen that Hamade was responsible for the damage. KGB Security said it had photographs of the gutted house and planned to open a criminal case against Hamade.

The attorney who acted for the estate, Reynault Meintjies, said in an email City Press has seen that Hamade wanted R730?000 from FNB to repair the house and put back the doors, windows and other appliances.

“Obviously this is ridiculous and laughable, to say the least. That it amounts to a crime is without doubt,” Meintjies wrote.

“He further threatened to [destroy] the two Absa properties in the same manner should FNB not agree to the above fees.”

Hamade said he bought the two houses from Absa this week and had settled all the debt.

He said FNB had previously tried to evict him, but he went to court and they were stopped from doing so. He said the gutted house would now be sold on auction early next month and confirmed he wanted more than R700?000 from the bank to repair it.

He denied intimidating anyone, telling City Press: “Leave me alone. I just want to live in peace. I don’t want any trouble.”

The Hawks, the SANDF, Meintjies and Rautenbach did not respond to requests for comment.

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