Duped locals lay charges

2015-09-29 06:00
A few residents who have been on the waiting list for the New Horizons housing development in Hanover Park have laid criminal charges after paying money to fake officials to speed up the process.  

Chevon Booysen

A few residents who have been on the waiting list for the New Horizons housing development in Hanover Park have laid criminal charges after paying money to fake officials to speed up the process. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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Allegations and claims of fraudulent transactions in the New Horizons housing development have escalated.

People’s Post previously reported on the housing development where officials are accepting money from desperate residents and putting them ahead in the housing waiting list (“Housing headaches”, 15 September).

People who have fallen prey by paying money to individuals who affiliate themselves to the housing development have now started laying criminal charges.

According to one woman, who requested to remain anonymous, she paid someone who introduced herself as an official with the housing development “to get ahead of the waiting list queue”.

“I paid this woman R3000 and she told me that within a week I would be able to move into a new home. This never materialised and now I can’t get hold of her to claim my money back,” she says.

Upon asking the woman how long she was on the waiting list she says “just a few months”.

“I was desperate and really wanted to get into a house and when someone I knew introduced me to this woman I figured it was a chance to get into a home sooner. Looking back now I regret it,” she says.

Hanover Park resident Kubra Kenny says she has been on the waiting list for more than 20 years and she is struggling to get a home while others are appointed homes who have been on the waiting list for far fewer years.

“I have been waiting for years for a home and currently I’m living with people who say I have to be out within two months. Where am I going to go with my children and grandchildren?” Kenny says.

She adds she was told that she has had to receive a house by now already.

“But where is the house? I have been waiting and waiting and now people are getting houses before me. I don’t have money to pay people to get me ahead on a waiting list,” she says.

Another resident has filed a criminal charge for trespassing after finding that the home she was to receive was already occupied by other residents.

Ricardo Sedres, president of the Social Democratic Party, an organisation in Hanover Park that deals with housing matters, says the organisation will be taking the matter to court as a next resort after not receiving any response from the City of Cape Town.

“We have received legal advice regarding the matter and we are taking this forward to a court of law. We have received no joy from the City regarding this issue but in the meantime, business still carries on as usual for the corrupt individuals accepting money from people wanting to get homes in the housing development,” Sedres says.

Grassy Park police spokesperson Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith confirms they are investigating cases of fraud and trespassing after receiving complaints from residents.

“We have received complaints from people who laid charges of trespassing and fraud. These cases are currently being investigated,” Kleinsmith says.

The City of Cape Town says it is also looking into the allegations.

“The City is investigating the particulars of the persons mentioned. It is important to note that the City goes to great lengths to ensure that the allocation of houses is done in strict accordance with the allocation policy.”

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