News24

Lenasia land scam man pleas for freedom

2013-02-25 19:27

Johannesburg - Mandla Dlamini, convicted of fraudulently selling land in Lenasia, pleaded with the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday not to send him to prison.

“I will do anything, including paying back the money owed to the complainants, but please do not send me to prison,” Dlamini said through a statement provided by a correctional officer.

A bricklayer by training, the grey-haired 75-year-old sat motionless in the dock listening to proceedings.

Clad in a grey suit and black tie, he listened to the correctional officer as he read out his statement.

“He respects the processes of the court and the guilty verdict. He is sorry for what he has done.”

According to the Gauteng housing department, Dlamini sold land illegally to residents in Lenasia and Ennerdale and then promised to build them houses.

Two complainants, Mr Simelane and Mr Phungwayo paid him deposits for land and on which houses would be built for them.

Phungwayo paid him R12 000, while Simelane paid R17 000.

Simelane had indicated to the court that he wanted land and a house, and was not interested in a refund.

Dlamini was arrested in June last year.

His lawyer, Advocate Skhosana said Dlamini was old and pleaded with the court to have him perform community service instead of a prison sentence.

The court heard that Dlamini was convicted of theft in 1970.

Department spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa said: “He took money from people and sold government land. Some paid him to build houses for them.”

Magistrate Elen Engelbrecht postponed the case to 5 March for sentencing.

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 were apparently 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 against the demolitions and resorted to blockading 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 infringed.

Comments
  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2013-02-25 19:36

    His age did not prevent him from committing the crime, therefore it should not be used as excuse not to serve time. In fact, one would think that a 75 year old should know better!

      ruan.smith.14 - 2013-02-25 19:45

      He is only sorry he got caught, this might just be co-incidence, but one cannot help but notice a similarity to the commonly used, "its alright to steal, but terrible to be caught" scenario that seems to play out consistantly in our everyday life.

      mlungisi.botha - 2013-02-25 22:17

      @vark.nek.90. How do you know he wasn't a card carrier? Don't be cynical. He was caught with his fingers in the till and he's got to swing 75 or not. Some card carriers get caught and get away with it. Others don't. Some non-card carriers get away with it and others get caught - so there you have it!

  • Mphotant Thelejane - 2013-02-25 19:36

    If they punish this self confessing man for his wrong doings, they must as well invite govt officials looting tax payers money for they are no different from him. Voetsek

      stein.dewet.7 - 2013-02-25 21:45

      that means the whole anc government will rot in jail

  • tiaan.evony - 2013-02-25 19:52

    screw him,let him sit

  • Malose-Nyatlo - 2013-02-25 19:58

    So, he has been at it since 1970 - or even before that. But what picture does the whole affair paint about a typical South African?

  • suidlander.vanwyk - 2013-02-25 20:07

    send this scum to jail and give him 20 years, this crook suddenly realises he is old

  • mantsho.tlali - 2013-02-25 20:11

    75yrs old, What was he thinking.

  • Rollingstone Kanyane - 2013-02-25 20:13

    it remind me of Shabir and a certain 70 year old man nicknamed the Spear who never spent a minute in jail so leave the poor oldman to go and rest

  • raymond.lloyd.73 - 2013-02-25 20:18

    The crime was premeditated and for personal greed , his age has no bearing on this .Did he want to buy an Aston Martin at this age ?

  • hgambold - 2013-02-25 20:20

    You do the crime, you do the time

  • mart.botha - 2013-02-25 20:22

    I bet he loved and rejoiced every minute he was spending his ill gotten gains all the while thinking he was 'too clever' for the system of law and order. Society cannot afford to be soft with it's mutants when they break the law .....that is asking for more trouble. Jail must be the only sentence society / the people must accept.

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2013-02-25 20:30

    Mart and that goes for all his comrades too,starting with the pole turtle himself.

  • WILLIAM2012 - 2013-02-25 20:50

    shame poor old man, give him a biscuit.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-02-25 21:04

      He will have plenty in jail where scum like him belongs

  • criticallyhonest - 2013-02-25 21:07

    Punishment of the guilty is one thing, but far more important are maintaining boundaries (of behaviour) and setting an example so that others of all ages will think before doing crime.

      hein.huyser - 2013-02-25 22:22

      Agree, therefore he must sit. What about the children and old that do not have a roof tonight because of his greed. Nope, you do the crime, you do the time.

  • cruywagen - 2013-02-26 07:00

    If you illegally build on government land you house is demolished, but build on private land and it becomes a illegal eviction that makes headlines. The double standards of the government is concerning.

      wendy.barnett.1238 - 2013-02-26 08:45

      Good point MC

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