Three appear in court for allegedly hijacking Joburg building

2018-01-04 21:57
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Johannesburg – An alleged serial fraudster and his two co-accused have appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court in connection with allegations that they hijacked a building in the Johannesburg city centre, the city's mayor Herman Mashaba said. 

In a statement, Mashaba said Jonathan Constable appeared alongside Bongani Khathide and Kingsley Eze.

The three men are accused of approaching unsuspecting tenants residing in properties around the city centre and introducing themselves to the tenants as investigators.

Mashaba said they allegedly claimed the true owners of the properties were hijackers and that the tenants should not cooperate with them.

They should rather pay their rent to the three accused instead, it is alleged.

The case against them was postponed to January 10 for a formal bail application, Mashaba said. 

In 2011, Constable was arrested after he deceived the home affairs department to issue him a car under the pretence that he was going to arrest illegal immigrants.

In 2015, he was arrested for masquerading as a police officer from the anti-corruption unit, where he demanded money from foreign nationals, after threatening them with arrest and deportation.

He also defrauded unsuspecting business people in Musina of about R200 000, police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a statement in 2015. 

"Prior to his arrest in Musina, Constable was arrested for defrauding ex-soldiers in Cape Town as well as in Pretoria of thousands of rands," Mulaudzi said. 

In the statement, Mashaba said the City will continue to be "vigorous" in assisting law enforcement to capture criminals in the city. 

He said hijacked properties were a major challenge the City faced.

"However, working together with law enforcement authorities, such as the South African Police Services and the NPA, we are making strides towards making the city a safe and inclusive space for all our residents to live, work and play," Mashaba said.

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