Was it a house hijacking?

2019-03-19 15:00
The house in Prince Alfred street.

The house in Prince Alfred street. (Ian Carbutt)

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Whose property is it anyway?

A property ownership muddle has left a local businessman, Yunus Goga, in total confusion after another person has claimed rights to his property.

The property on Prince Alfred Street was bought by a company, Sinothando Construction CC, the managing director and shareholder being Nhlakanipho Shandu. The transfer went through in 2013. About a year ago, Goga bought the property from Sinothando Construction CC, and was still in the process of registering the property under his name.

But last Wednesday, the unexpected happened. Two police officers from the Pietermaritzburg police station and a man identified as a Musa Dlamini, paid Goga a visit and instructed him to vacate the property immediately. The police officers subsequently arrested Goga’s security guard who was stationed at the premises.

Goga, Shandu and the estate agent who facilitated the sale of the property told The Witness they don’t know Dlamini, and The Witness was unable to track him down on Monday as no one had his contact details.

Goga told The Witness that he bought the property legally for R2 million from Sinothando Construction CC. “[Dlamini] told me that he is the registered owner of the property and he needs occupation of the property,” said Goga.

The irked businessman said he told the police officers to contact the attorneys handling the transfer of the property, and that Dlamini should produce proof if claiming ownership.

He said last Wednesday night two policemen arrived at the property — allegedly accompanied by Dlamini — and arrested his security guard possibly leaving the coast clear for Dlamini to occupy the premises.

Goga said when he made inquiries at the police station the officer he dealt with said the police had arrested the security guard based on a protection order. “I told him that I don’t want this guy [Dlamini] anywhere near my property,” he said.

When The Witness visited the property in question on Monday there were several “No Trespassing” signs up at the gate. However, there was no sign of any occupants.

Goga said he was given early occupation of the property while he waits for his rates clearance certificate from Msunduzi for transfer to take place.

Goga said he has referred the matter to his attorney.

Shandu said when he bought the property he took out a bond, which has now been settled.

“The bank would not have approved my bond if the property was owned by somebody else,” he said.

Shandu said he bought the property in 2013 from Gerald Katz, RE/MAX Midlands director, and was in possession of a title deed. “Unfortunately, I’m in Joburg and will only be back on Wednesday [tomorrow] to try and establish all the facts. I’m not sure where this guy [Dlamini] is coming from.”

“If he has proof that he owns the property, then I also need to go back to my seller. It’s shocking that the police would raid someone’s property without any proof. I think the police were wrong,” said Shandu.

The estate agent from In2assets Midlands, Alan Martin, said the sale by Shandu to Goga was legitimate. “It’s like a land grab in the middle of town,” Martin said. “I’ve been in property for years and I’ve never heard anything like this. It was a legitimate sale; how do the police help someone take over a property in the middle of the night? It’s a complete mystery,” said Martin.

“The buyer or seller have not seen any papers to explain the situation,” he said.

On Monday, Pietermaritzburg police station spokesperson Khosi Khonje­lwayo said she was not aware of the alleged incident and requested more time to investigate.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg
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