Mpumalanga municipal employee and two others arrested over RDP housing scam

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Three people, including a municipal employee, appeared in court for allegedly selling RDP homes. iStock
Three people, including a municipal employee, appeared in court for allegedly selling RDP homes. iStock
  • Three people, including a municipal employee, appeared in the eMalahleni Magistrate's Court on charges of theft, corruption and forgery.
  • The three allegedly sold RDP homes to unsuspecting victims.
  • Two were granted R10 000 bail each, while the third accused was remanded in custody.

An employee at eMalahleni Municipality in Mpumalanga was granted R10 000 bail, after being charged with selling unallocated RDP houses to unsuspecting victims desperate for a home.

Vusumuzi Phakane, 52, employed as a community coordinator by the municipality, allegedly colluded with two other locals - Justice Sambo, and Caroline Koloane - in defrauding victims of at least R300 000 since last year.

According to the Hawks, Phakane and Sambo approached Koloane and recruited her to look for prospective customers. Koloane took to social media where she advertised government houses for sale.

"Unsuspecting victims would respond to the advert seen on social media and be directed by the syndicate to the municipality offices to complete the agreement of sale forms. They would be further advised to go to the lawyers for the agreement and the victims became convinced that the sale is legitimate," said Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.

While the victim occupied the newly purchased house, other victims would also come and produce documents as proof of purchase for the same house. A case was opened and investigators found out that lawful beneficiaries of the houses were still alive, and waiting to be allocated their homes.

Victims lost at least R300 000 to the scam. The three shared the money among themselves. They were arrested on Wednesday on charges of corruption, theft, forgery and money laundering.

Phakane and Koloane were granted R10 000 bail each, while Sambo was held in custody as he has previous convictions.

The case was postponed to 20 August for Sambo's bail application.

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