5 cases over Lenasia housing - Mokonyane

2012-11-13 07:28

Johannesburg - Five cases are in court over the illegal selling of government land in Lenasia, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Monday.

"Ten cases were investigated by the Hawks. Seven suspects were arrested. Five cases are on trial and two [were] withdrawn pending further investigations," Mokonyane told reporters in Johannesburg.

Out of these cases only one person had been convicted so far. Hlengiwe Ximba entered into a plea bargain with the State and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment with a three-year suspended sentence.

Other people implicated in the fraudulent selling of land were out on bail pending the outcomes of their trials. They included an official from the City of Johannesburg.

"We are dealing here with organised crime, we [are] dealing with something that has been institutionalised," Mokonyane said.


Last week, housing department spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa said residents were told in 2006 not to build houses on the land.

A court order was obtained to stop them from doing so, but a syndicate convinced them otherwise.

"They forged the [head of department's] signature and used [the] department's letterhead," he alleged.

Mokonyane said a court interdict in 2010 prevented the department of housing from demolishing the homes, and prevented residents from building new homes on the land.

However, out of 164 illegal occupants, only 11 had co-operated with the department.

"Out of that 11, only three have legal documentation," Mokonyane said.

She said the government was helping these three residents. They would also be prioritised when new RDP houses were built, because of their co-operation.

She said the government had been sympathetic to the residents.

Sending a message to fraudsters

Although it was ordered to demolish the houses in September last year when residents continued to erect houses despite the interdict, it began doing so only last week.

About 50 houses had been destroyed so far and another 113 had yet to be demolished.

Mokonyane said the demolitions had to send a strong message to other fraudsters continuing to illegally sell land in Gauteng.

She advised people to be wary of fraudsters posing as housing department agents selling land at cheap prices.

"If the land is being sold to you, first verify ownership with the registrar of deeds before paying or before occupying the land," she said.

Court interdict stops demolition

SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) officials visited Lenasia on Monday to gather information from residents affected by the demolition.

It had earlier secured an urgent court interdict to halt the demolitions for 24 hours.

SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the judge asked it to conduct a poll on how many people were affected by the demolitions.

The commission was also asked to determined how many houses had already been destroyed, and how many more were earmarked to go.

"This gives us time to consult with the residents to establish factual evidence that may be of assistance to all parties in this matter," said Mangena.

The officials interviewed people whose houses were on the list earmarked for demolition, including men and women carrying children on their backs.

They entered the details on forms Mangena later said the information collected would be presented in court on Tuesday.

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-11-13 07:39

    Dear Lenasia residents. Merry Christmas Lenasia. From your ANC government.

      Mandooza Mdu - 2012-11-13 08:12

      No Nomvula mokonyane N Mr RAMOKGOPA THEY Don't NEED ZUMU anymore thats why they doing this 2 the people , why now don't lying 2 us minister ur black we know u

      ben.alexander.16144 - 2012-11-13 08:52

      And Nkandla is right on track to be finished shortly

      Kwajo.m - 2012-11-13 14:06

      The Gauteng Premier is very cold and she is not showing that she is a mother with her remarks on this Lenasia resident issue. This is a trauma to the kids of the house demolition victims in Lenasia. I bet this Lenasia ordeal won't go answered, come next general election. The Gauteng government has failed people of Lenasia. Is how the Gauteng government handles the matter the best they could come up with in all respect? Why they did not institute penalties as already houses are on the ground and people paid a thief in government uniform for those stands. Since there were no tittle deed holders for the land in question why did not sell it to them at penalty fee New government and the old government are the same. They were all protecting the law of that time and ANC called the old government an abuser of human rights. Today they are doing the same.

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-11-13 07:39

    These people must be compensated, they are victims of fraudsters as well as the government. Time for regime change, the revolution starts now.

      Edmore Chitokomere - 2012-11-13 08:18

      this is the most intelligent comment ever!!!

  • boyisile - 2012-11-13 07:40

    You destroy a person's big house, you then prioritize him/her for RDP house?

      vincent.mafooa - 2012-11-13 08:19

      Yep, and worse if you got valuable posessions like a car, it will have no space to be parked in the yard overnight, it will be parked just next to the road, RDP houses are just crap, even if you want to add a room or two you cant, unless you build going up but not sideways. but again with Lenasia saga; people need to be cautious and not gallable, you will find that most of them knew that the land was being sold elligaly but still they wont on to buy it any way propably with the notion that they will strike and the government will back off, but any way what happened to these people is very unfortunate and thinking of all the money they spent on building those homes and have them demolished just like that, its just unbearable. ANC has screwed a lot of people with empty promises, and people out of being desparate, will do anything to have a proper roof above their heads.

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-11-13 07:44

    She's obviously having a bad hair day!

  • debduplessis - 2012-11-13 07:49

    Just kick the whole leading party government out .... they are thieving fraudsters!!!! ... from the Top down. Residents of Lenasia, we the people of RSA have a newly built secure residence for you --- its in KZN... a place called "Nkandla" which we have paid for! Enjoy Dewali & our xmas their --- its the least the RSA government can do for you now!

  • rob.vine.9 - 2012-11-13 08:02

    If the top of our Goverment is so corrupt that they think they are right,and the people below them see this they do the same .Maybe that is how we have made it to the top of the countries most corupt list. The Anc do not think of others nor do they think of life as the past has showen.lets go back to the dark ages where maybe Africa belongs.God help us

  • gift.mushi.9 - 2012-11-13 08:05

    They have built houses on Government Land. Who is Government?

      ontlhabanetsesteve.baepile - 2012-11-13 08:24

      Stupid question.

      peter.j.cock - 2012-11-13 08:42

      We do not have a government, what we have here is a bunch of theives who do not care a sh*t about the people. All they care for is themselves. The mentality is " What is mine is mine, and what is yours is also mine, and I will have it any way I can get it, so stuff you, I am more important that you."

      gift.mushi.9 - 2012-11-13 10:25

      @ ontlhabametsesteve.baepile stupid answer from a moron

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2012-11-13 08:11

    I'll probably get a lot of criticism for what I'm going to say. These residents were warned on numerous previous occasions not to build on the property. Despite this, they continued doing so and defied warning after warning and court order after court order. This is now so typical of our nation, we ignore the traffic light and there is no consequence so we continue doing it. We litter our streets and there is no consequence so we continue doing it. We commit a murder and there is no consequence so we just continue doing it. These people ignored the warnings and now there is a consequence. It does appear like a case of selective justice as they are the victims of a scam, but scams like these have been around for a long time and we don't see a lot of cases AND convictions in court where these fraudsters face the consequences. We have to start to learn that for everything we do, there is a consequence and if we break the law and defy a court order, there will be a consequence. I sympathise with the owners who now suffer emotional and financial distress but I think it is high time to implement restorative justice in this country where criminals have to make good the damages they do to their victims as currently, they get off too lightly.

      pws69 - 2012-11-13 09:01

      I agree with your comment completely, but only to a point of context. You have a largely illiterate group of people who have an almost blind trust in the people they elect. Said elected officials convince them, on the strength of their party affiliation, that it is legitimate, getting these people to part with a large portion of their life savings, to improve their lives as they have in all likelihood been waiting since 1994 for a RDP house. Add to this the ridiculous red tape, and a lack of information, and this is what happens. More importantly, you cannot evict a squatter from your house, your land, or your residential building, without first providing alternative accommodation. The very government that has ENFORCED this in Joubert Park and Benoni, does not follow its own rules? How does that work?

      Andrea - 2012-11-13 09:06

      The ANC cannot afford restorative justice!

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-11-13 10:12

      I have to agree with Nicolas. As sad as it may be you cannot allow people to keep land that was illegally obtained. If a fraudser sells your own home illegally would you agree that the new 'owners' be allowed to keep it just because they plead ignorance. And in this case people seem to have been told a long time ago. I also agree with pws69 that authorities should provide more assistance to people to buy legitimate RDP houses.

  • ernaqv - 2012-11-13 08:18

    this is terrible! I really feel for these people, they had water and electricity, which is paid at the municipality. Does this not make it a legal residence? I hope they take it up with the constitutional court! This act was inhumane... Destroying houses in a country where housing is a huge issue, not a clever act

  • briana.scott - 2012-11-13 08:31

    I think the way this situation has been handled is beyond disgusting! WTF is wrong with our government, people are allowed to erect shanty towns over night dropping area and property values, but these built houses on government property have to be torn down. They should be grateful to these scammers because they actually built something which our useless government has not been arsed to do. These poor people have tried to do things right and instead they have been shafted by both the fraudsters and our crappy useless government. Absolutely Disgusting - just shameful.

  • musawenkosi.mvubu - 2012-11-13 08:32

    As per the Housing official last night on SABC station he did accept that there is corruption in his own department people are selling land using the departments letterheads. So people have bought those pieces of land thinking its genuine. The department have known this thing for years but have never acted on this issue hence this shenanigan. Who will ever liberate people from this incompetence?

  • phumi.ntlabati - 2012-11-13 08:39

    Welcome the move of clamping down on the syndicates (who we know are Nonkonyane's employees). However we view this FW De Klerk and Helen Zille tactic style of removing innocent victims of this scam, is quite appalling and disgusting. We would like to remind the power drunk Nonkonyane and her officials, that in this country of Mandela, people are the government and they are just mere representatives who we can remove at will! Arrest the criminals and leave those victims of this crime alone!

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-13 08:42

    However, out of 164 illegal occupants, only 11 had co-operated with the department. "Out of that 11, only three have legal documentation," Mokonyane said.Heheheh ok! I really know what the word "co-operation" means in the ANC.Pay a hefty bribe and we will give you the right documentation to become "one of us".

  • flynn.govender - 2012-11-13 08:44

    This land was sold to these people by corrupt government people. Instead of government breaking these house down, they should have given these residents a chance to buy the land legally through a financial institute like a bank. This should be done within a time frame. Selling this land to the people will surely be better than building RDP houses for free to the shack dwellers. I just cannot understand our government, they fought hard to get SA under their power and now that they have it, they abuse the system and steal from their own people. Most of the people sitting in high posts within the government are so stupid that they cannot think beyond their nose. Solving problems should be second nature if the right people are employed to do the jobs

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-11-13 08:45

    How did the properties get registered at the deeds office after the sale took place? If they were indeed registered, enquiries there would surely not have helped the purchasers?

  • pws69 - 2012-11-13 08:55

    "We are dealing here with organised crime, we [are] dealing with something that has been institutionalised," Mokonyane said. Yes, it is called the ANC. In 1998 Mbeki said there is nothing wrong with cadre deployment, and it is ANC policy. We now see the result of that clear as day here.

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-11-13 08:58

    Its taken the Govt 6 years to sort this out??!!! Must have been a very difficult investigation!!!!

  • Andrea - 2012-11-13 09:02

    "Mokonyane said the demolitions had to send a strong message to other fraudsters continuing to illegally sell land in Gauteng." The demolitions should rather be sending a strong message to the people illegally erecting houses, don't you think Mokonyane? Sending a strong message to the fraudsters is up to the justice system, and why is that taking so long?

  • jabu.phakula.1 - 2012-11-13 09:07

    our people /blacks/ they dont hv ear .

  • brasteve.myaluze - 2012-11-13 09:08

    These people were not asking for RDP houses. They built with their own money. All that government needed to do was allocate a piece of land. That's it, but no. It had to come to this. The silence from Cosatu is very loud. If this had happened in the Western Cape

  • smahlaba - 2012-11-13 09:13

    Corruption is such a problem in this country. You may find that some of these residents knew that they were occupying land illegally.

      pws69 - 2012-11-13 09:32

      Very true, but do you not think they decided to work within an entrenched system that made Malema over R100 million, that made Smuts R20 million in just one deal (Telkom) that made Mbeki R30 million (Arms Deal) and made Fana Hlongwane over R1,5 BILLION in just one deal? That got Zuma a R248 million house, that has made ordinary ANC MP R10 millions without consequence. Are you seeing the common thread yet?

  • ontlhabanetsesteve.baepile - 2012-11-13 10:04

    Is democracy means undermining your gorverment,killing and taking part in corruption?

  • erich.goosen - 2012-11-13 10:09

    My initial sympathy was with the occupants as I thought they were conned into buying the houses and that they acted bona fide. If this report is correct in that they were warned on a number of occasions that the sale was a scam, then I think they can only blame themselves for their problems.

  • lunghile.ndleve - 2012-11-13 10:16

    "Mokonyane said the demolitions had to send a strong message to other fraudsters continuing to illegally sell land in Gauteng." SO the fraudsters are the ones out on the streets sleeping under stars?? I am sorry but this country is governed by heartless idiots!!!

  • charlton.michaels - 2012-11-13 10:42

    The ANC has lost my vote.

  • lisadelamotte85 - 2012-11-13 16:26

    Is there not a legal argument as the fraudsters used the letterhead and forged signature etc of the Municipality. Any reasonable person would look at the document and think it is real. Guess if the supplier is the government and they cant catch the criminals then they go after the innocent. Why is it always a win-lose every where you look.

  • pages:
  • 1